New Medical Leadership Positions
24 November 2010
The UK’s first Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) has been strengthened through the announcement on 11 November of new senior appointments at Imperial College London. The appointments will further the integration of the AHSC across the whole College and help to broaden its range of partners, both locally and internationally, who can benefit from its pioneering integrated healthcare, education and research model.
Professor Stephen Smith FMedSci, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, will become Pro Rector (Health) and combine this with his existing role as Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Professor Smith led the integration of the College and one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to form the AHSC in 2007. He will now seek to integrate more deeply the AHSC across all of the College’s Faculties and the Business School. In his new role he will have responsibility for Imperial’s strategic opportunities in health science research and education across the world. Professor Smith is also the Founding Dean of the recently launched Imperial College London – Nanyang Technological University Medical School in Singapore.
Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor FMedSci, currently Deputy Principal of the Faculty, will succeed Professor Smith as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Jenny Higham, currently Director of Education of the Faculty of Medicine, will become Deputy Principal of the Faculty of Medicine.
The AHSC is a partnership that aims to transform the health and quality of life of patients and populations in London, the UK and globally
The Academic Health Science Centre is a partnership that aims to transform the health and quality of life of patients and populations in London, the UK and globally by integrating healthcare research, teaching and clinical care. Currently Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is supported by the National Institute for Health Research through its comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre designation, which is worth £100 million over five years.
The AHSC is currently being further extended to form an Academic Health Science System (AHSS), whose Steering Group will be chaired by the Rector of Imperial College London, Sir Keith O’Nions FRS. Sir Keith will also attend the board of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
In June 2010, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust became the first associate member of the AHSS, when it entered an alliance with the College and Trust to form Europe’s largest service for cardiac and respiratory health. Imperial and Royal Brompton are partners on two £9 million Biomedical Research Units awarded in 2008 by the National Institute for Health Research, and have deep and historic research and teaching links.
Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor will become Principal of the Faculty of Medicine from 1 December 2010, initially until 2012. He is Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a Consultant Physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and has previously been Head of the National Heart and Lung Institute from 2006 to 2009.
Professor Jenny Higham will succeed Sir Anthony as Deputy Principal from 1 December 2010. Professor Higham is Professor of Medical Education and a Consultant Gynaecologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and has previously been Head of Undergraduate Medicine for the Faculty from 2006 to 2009.
We will be looking for organisations that are best in their class
Sir Keith said: “Building on the success of our original AHSC model, which ties together teaching, research and healthcare through integrated leadership and governance, we are making governance changes to become more inclusive and that will open doors to other potential associates in the AHSS. We will be looking for organisations that are best in their class, in order to bring the greatest benefit to the health of those in west London and beyond. I’m delighted that Professor Smith will be taking the cross-College health portfolio to develop our relationships with international health providers and to ensure that the whole College benefits fully from its integration within the AHSC. We are fortunate to be able to draw upon such deep talents within Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine and I am very pleased that Sir Anthony and Professor Higham have accepted new Faculty leadership appointments.”
Lord Tugendhat, Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London are already strong together through the AHSC’s integrated governance, and these changes will make our relationship even stronger and enable us to become more integrated with all aspects of Imperial College London. Since 2007, we have successfully aligned academic and clinical services and benefited from decision making which has led to the rapid development of new initiatives, such as the digital plaster for diabetes patients. As a member of the College’s Council I am delighted that Sir Keith will in future attend the Trust’s Board meetings, further enhancing the existing cross-representation between our organisations.”
It has been shown that the best quality healthcare is to be found in AHSCs
Professor Smith said: “I’m delighted to be tackling this new role which will advance the mission of our AHSC and integrate more deeply the AHSC across all of the College’s Faculties and the Business School. It has been shown that the best quality healthcare is to be found in AHSCs thanks to their integration of teaching, research and clinical care. The AHSS gives us the opportunity to broaden out those health benefits to even more people.”
Sir Anthony said: “I am honoured to be invited to take up the position of Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College. I look forward to working with Sir Keith O’Nions and Professor Smith to further develop and strengthen the Imperial Colle ge AHSC and the AHSS.”
Professor Higham said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine. I look forward to working closely with others to ensure our continued success in research, education and translation, both in London and with our international partners.”