Our people

With over 40 experts in our delivery, commercial, marketing and communications teams to choose from, we can tailor the right team to help your idea realise its potential.

We hire the best talent from the NHS and commercial sector and then give them the autonomy to solve complex challenges in their own way – all supported by an experienced senior leadership team and board.

The is responsible for the managing the day-to-day operation of Eastern AHSN. Each member brings skills and experience to deliver on our purpose and ensures we turn great ideas into positive health impact.

The are responsible for the organisation’s corporate governance and is ultimately accountable for the group’s activities, strategy, risk management and financial performance. We have a diverse Board with a range of expertise, insights and viewpoints which benefits our organisation and those we partner with.

Senior management team

Piers Ricketts

Piers Ricketts

Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the AHSN Network

Piers leads Eastern AHSN, providing strategic direction to the senior management team and working regularly with our most senior regional and national stakeholders. He is also Chair of the national AHSN Network, where he works with a small leadership team to develop the network’s strategy and relationships with the NHS and industry. Piers is a board member of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) and is a regular speaker at conferences on innovation in the NHS and wider health and care.
Piers was previously a partner at KPMG, where he led the firm’s healthcare management consulting practice and led numerous major transformation projects in higher education, social housing and the wider public sector.

Piers is a qualified chartered accountant and previously spent ten years in KPMG’s transaction services practice, supporting private and public sector clients in major commercial deals. He holds a Master’s in Classics from Oxford University.

“The UK is home to some of the most brilliant researchers and innovators in healthcare and life sciences. At Eastern AHSN we are privileged to work in a region which has more than its fair share of world-leading universities, start-ups and larger companies, as well as the outstanding researchers and practitioners in our NHS. However, in common with the rest of the UK, we need to get better at scaling these solutions so that they are deployed more widely and more quickly into our health and care system. I am proud to lead Eastern AHSN and to play our part in solving this challenge.”

Helen Oliver Chief Operating Officer

Helen Oliver

Chief Operating Officer

Helen is responsible for overseeing our company’s operational processes, including corporate functions, and leading the development of business strategies and reporting. She also leads on the NHS England Test Bed programme on behalf of the AHSN Network. Helen is also the deputy chief executive for Eastern AHSN

Dr Louise Jopling

Dr Louise Jopling

Commercial Director

Louise holds a PhD in immunology from Imperial College London and drawing on both her background in science and years of experience in drug discovery, development and commercialisation within academia, biotech and pharmaceutical organisations, she leads the commercial team to develop partnerships and support innovators to refine their business models and value propositions to ensure commercial sustainability.
Louise joined Eastern AHSN from Johnson and Johnson Innovation, where she led partnership activities across Europe, Middle East and Africa to identify and incubate external assets and capabilities to advance the portfolio of the Immunology Therapy Area for Janssen.
Louise is an advisory board member for MedTech Integrates conference, a mentor on a number of accelerator programmes including Accelerate Cambridge (Judge Business School) and Start Codon. She is also a long-standing member of the British Society for Immunology.
‘‘I am excited to help advance the rich ecosystem of innovation from within, and that is attracted to, this region. By being at the heart of the health and care system we have such huge potential to enable innovations to impact the population, in real time, for this region and beyond’’.

Jag Ahluwalia

Dr Jag Ahluwalia

Chief Clinical Officer

Jag provides clinical governance oversight into Eastern AHSN’s programmes of work and is a strong and passionate advocate for the potential of technology to deliver better care and more effective services.
Jag was appointed as a consultant in newborn intensive care at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) in 1996 and was in active practice until 2012. He was also the executive medical director at CUH for nearly 10 years with a very wide-ranging portfolio. Jag was then director of digital at the trust, supporting the development of the IT infrastructure and services needed for patients and staff, including an integrated electronic patient record.
He has been an honorary fellow of the Judge Business School since 2018, where he holds an executive MBA in business administration, is a non-executive director at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and a Trustee at Macmillan Cancer Support.
“Great ideas only make an impact when they are put into practice. The best ideas will have obvious patient benefit. If we can clearly articulate evidence of this benefit to the healthcare system, clinicians can make an informed decision with their patients.”

Charlotte James

Charlotte James

Director of Communications, Engagement and Marketing

Charlotte leads a team responsible for developing communications, marketing and engagement strategies that help advance both the organisation’s and its partners’ efforts to catalyse their impact. These strategies include supporting innovators to develop and deliver integrated marketing and communications strategies to drive awareness, change behaviours and secure funding. She is also responsible for developing partnerships across the innovation ecosystem, media outreach and conferences.
Charlotte was appointed to this expanded role in March 2019. Prior to this she worked as a Director of Global Communiations at GSK. She has significant experience working with and for the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies for over 20 years on strategic and operational programmes in corporate and brand strategy and communications at every product life stage.
She regularly judges awards, gives presentations on strategic communications and is co-curator of the One Health Tech in Cambridge, which supports and promotes under-represented groups to be future leaders in health innovation. She holds a CAM advanced certificate in communications, has won industry awards and holds a degree from the University of East Anglia.
“Our goal is to enable innovators to focus on what they do best and relieve some of the strain they may face in developing successful strategies to raise awareness and change behaviours. We can help you communicate complex issues in a way that mobilises audiences to deliver measurable results.’’

Mark Avery

Mark Avery

Director of Health Informatics

Mark splits his role at Eastern AHSN and Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP). His role includes providing governance and oversight of information-based innovations to support clinicians to have the data they need at the point of care and developing the capability in the region to integrate data to gain insights that inform health and care delivery and clinical research. He sits on the East of England Health and Care Record Programme Board and is the operational lead for Gut Reaction – the national Health Data Research Hub for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Starting out as an information analysist, Mark has approaching 20 years’ experience working in the NHS across a range of operational, information, contracting and performance management roles. He is experienced in leading complex projects and programmes in acute hospital and commissioning organisations.
“Recent advances in clinical imaging, pathology and genomic technologies have led to remarkable progress in understanding disease, but the power of these technologies cannot be fully realised until the immense volume of data generated can be integrated, then analysed. This is what we are working to achieve in a secure cloud research environment to protect the privacy of individuals.”

Caroline Angel

Caroline Angel

Director of Patient Safety

Caroline leads our quality improvement workstream and our regional Patient Safety Collaborative to identify and spread safer care initiatives across our region and ensure patient safety is at the core of all our programmes.
She has held quality improvement, information analytics and performance management roles in multiple NHS trusts, strategic health authorities and the Department of Health and worked on several national improvement programmes, including the successful Healthcare Associated Infections programme.
Caroline holds a postgraduate diploma in leadership and management in public services and is an Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Improvement Advisor.
“I am passionate about empowering frontline staff with quality improvement skills to test and embed improvements. They often already know the key things that need to change, yet we don’t always allow them the voice or freedom to improve the quality and safety of patient care.”

Per Reiss Musgrove

Per Reiss-Musgrove

Director of Finance and Company Secretary

Per leads all aspects of financial strategy, reporting, governance, compliance and operations for Eastern AHSN to ensure the smooth running of the organisation and its long-term sustainability. He is also the company secretary, leading the organisation’s legal, HR, facilities management and IT functions.
Per is an experienced finance professional, having held senior positions across a variety of sectors and organisations, including Shell, the University of Greenwich and NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV), based in the Netherlands.
He holds a masters degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge.
“Never has there been a more important time to support the NHS in creating, developing and introducing innovative healthcare solutions; Eastern AHSN plays both a key role in our region and nationally.”

Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson

Interim Director of Delivery

Sarah oversees the local delivery of Eastern AHSN’s national programmes and national products, on which we spend around 50% of our time. This includes supporting organisations in the region to embed proven innovations such as those selected by the AHSN Network for adoption, including ITP and Rapid Uptake Products and those from the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative. Her portfolio also includes oversight of local projects borne out of responding to local challenges that the NHS has identified that Eastern AHSN have matched and supported through innovative practice.
Sarah has held numerous strategic NHS roles since qualifying as a clinical psychologist. She was the regional lead for the national dementia strategy before taking up a patient safety and safeguarding leadership role at NHS England.
“I was drawn to Eastern having experienced the difficulties for myself of implementing a national digital app for frontline practitioners and want to help make adoption as effective as possible. I really enjoy leading a team that are implementing change at scale and pace, but also supporting change to become embedded into routine ways of working.”

Our board

Elisabeth-Buggins

Elisabeth Buggins CBE

Chair

Elisabeth brings over 40 years of experience in and alongside, the NHS. This includes chair, advisory and board roles across the NHS, at The King’s Fund, NHS Providers, in organ donation and at Accord Housing Association.
Elisabeth is an honorary member of the British Transplantation Society and was named an Honorary Doctor of Science by Wolverhampton University in 2008.
“Our health is too important to leave to chance. I am proud to oversee an organisation which brings together those with ideas for improving patient outcomes with others who can develop and implement them, providing the essential support to make innovation a success.”

Tracy Dowling Eastern AHSN

Tracy Dowling

Non-Executive Director

Tracy has more than 30 years’ experience with the NHS in trust and commissioning organisations, including over 15 years at executive level, after beginning her career as a radiographer.
Tracy is the chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and chair of East of England Applied Research Collaborative (ARC). She is also a board member for Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP) and chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Workforce Action Board and the Eastern NIHR Clinical Research Network.
Tracy said, “I am convinced that future healthcare will see a bringing together of both physical and mental health such that we better understand the health and wellbeing of the whole person, and the interaction of mind and body. Technology and innovation have the potential to transform the ways in which our workforce improve health, care and quality of life. Eastern AHSN has a vital role on supporting the realisation of this potential.

Sarah Salvilla Eastern AHSN

Sarah Salvilla

Non-Executive Director

Sarah is the Global Healthcare Management and Clinical Innovations Director at Bupa, where she has held multiple senior clinical leadership and management positions. She graduated as a doctor from Imperial College and worked as surgeon in leading hospitals in London.
She is a trained academic and has published widely in the areas of quality, safety and health services. She has been lead author for clinical guidelines and a member of the team on safer primary care research at the WHO. Her key interest is in developing new models of healthcare delivery, population health sciences and the use data and technology to enable healthcare for both funding and provision services.
”I am excited to use my global experience to bring an additional lens with which to re-imagine health and support Eastern AHSN at the epicentre of a vibrant ecosystem of partners to reduce health inequalites, promote wellbeing and bring joy to the working lives of our talented health and care staff through the effective use of innovation, technology and data.”

Michael Hornberger Eastern AHSN

Michael Hornberger

Non-Executive Director

Michael is the associate dean of innovation and professor of applied dementia research at the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia. His research focuses on improving diagnosis, disease progression tracking and symptom management in dementia.
His research group employs various research methodologies (clinical, cognition, neuroimaging and genetics) as well as disease interventions (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) for their research studies. He is working in close collaboration with other scientists as well as old-age psychiatrists, neurologists, nurses, clinical psychologists and speech and language therapists approach dementia from a multi-disciplinary angle.
“It’s vital that we support an innovation culture across academia, clinical services and industry, with service users being central to this triangulation. I truly believe that innovation can be a platform to bring these partners closer together and make a difference in many people’s lives by allowing concerted and complimentary approaches to the healthcare challenges facing our society.”

Non-Executive Director

Michael Scott

Non-Executive Director

Michael’s public service career has ranged from working as a qualified social worker to an NHS chief executive. His twenty-year role as chief executive encompassed acute hospitals, a community and a mental health trust and a commissioning organisation. He also held a national role in the NHS Modernisation Agency where he worked with Ministers on NHS reform. Michael is now retired.

Tom Abell

Tom Abell

Non-Executive Director

Tom has a special interest in the integration of public services to drive transformational service change and improve outcomes. He has held numerous leadership roles in NHS trusts and commissioners and is currently deputy chief executive and chief transformation officer for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Mid Essex Hospitals Services NHS Trust.

Piers Ricketts

Piers Ricketts

Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the AHSN Network

Piers leads Eastern AHSN, providing strategic direction to the senior management team and working regularly with our most senior regional and national stakeholders. He is also Chair of the national AHSN Network, where he works with a small leadership team to develop the network’s strategy and relationships with the NHS and industry. Piers is a board member of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) and is a regular speaker at conferences on innovation in the NHS and wider health and care.
Piers was previously a partner at KPMG, where he led the firm’s healthcare management consulting practice and led numerous major transformation projects in higher education, social housing and the wider public sector.
Piers is a qualified chartered accountant and previously spent ten years in KPMG’s transaction services practice, supporting private and public sector clients in major commercial deals. He holds a Master’s in Classics from Oxford University.
“The UK is home to some of the most brilliant researchers and innovators in healthcare and life sciences. At Eastern AHSN we are privileged to work in a region which has more than its fair share of world-leading universities, start-ups and larger companies, as well as the outstanding researchers and practitioners in our NHS. However, in common with the rest of the UK, we need to get better at scaling these solutions so that they are deployed more widely and more quickly into our health and care system. I am proud to lead Eastern AHSN and to play our part in solving this challenge.”

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