Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, has been elected as Vice Chair of the AHSN Network, which brings together the 15 AHSN that cover England.

He takes on the additional role in August alongside new AHSN Network Chair Piers Ricketts, Chief Executive of the Eastern AHSN who was previously Vice Chair. He was elected to the Chair’s position to replace Seamus O’Neill from the North East and North Cumbria AHSN who is moving on to a new challenge.

Gary remains Chief Executive of the Oxford AHSN, a position he has held since 2013.

He said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at an important time for AHSNs. I will work with Piers, the other chief officers and our partners across health and social care, universities and industry to ensure we continue to develop our role as the innovation arm of the NHS.”

Gary remains a practising clinician. He is a Consultant Stroke Physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Oxford.

He has led the adoption of innovation in stroke care for many years. Gary developed the first thrombolysis protocol for acute stroke in England and the Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) now used to increase public and professional awareness of stroke. He was Director of the National Institute for Health Research Stroke Research Network from 2005-2013 and is a member of the NIHR Strategy Board.

Gary was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to research in stroke medicine. In 2018 he was identified as one of seven NHS research legends whose work has transformed care in the NHS.

It’s Gary’s second time as Vice Chair of the AHSN Network following a previous stint in 2017/18.