Professor Chris Ham announced as new chief executive of The King's Fund

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Chris Ham, Professor of health policy and management at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, will succeed Niall Dickson as chief executive of the independent health charity on 6 April 2010.

Commenting on the appointment, Sir Cyril Chantler, chairman of The King's Fund, said:

'We are delighted that Chris will be joining The King's Fund as our new chief executive. Chris brings with him extensive expertise in health care, an internationally recognised reputation for research, communication and thought leadership, and a genuine commitment to improvement of health care.

'Under Niall Dickson's leadership the Fund has gone from strength to strength. He has built on the Fund’s reputation for independent, expert policy analysis, increased our impact on health care through improvement and leadership programmes, and personally made a significant contribution to key areas of national health care policy.

'I am confident that Chris will build on the achievements of recent years and ensure that the Fund continues to act as a major force in health care policy and improvement over the years to come.

Professor Chris Ham said:

'I am looking forward to joining The King's Fund at such a fascinating and challenging time for the NHS. The combination of leadership development, high-quality, independent policy analysis, and practical support for the improvement of services that the Fund provides will be increasingly vital as pressures on the health care system continue to grow.

'I have worked closely with The King's Fund for many years and recognise its positive influence on health policy and on service improvement. I'm pleased to be joining such a committed and effective team.'

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham added:

'It is a testament to this University's commitment to shaping policy and practice that Professor Chris Ham has been asked to take up this role. Chris is internationally renowned for his contribution to research on and dissemination of best practice in health care and I very much appreciate the contribution that he has made to making the University's Health Service Management Centre one of the leading institutions in its field in the world.'

Notes to editors

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2603. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185. Alternatively, contact Ben Hill – Acting Head of Communions at the University of Birmingham on 0121 414 6681.
  2. In July this year, The King’s Fund’s chief executive Niall Dickson was appointed as chief executive of the General Medical Council. He will start his new role in January 2010.
  3. The King’s Fund seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
  4. The Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University of Birmingham has been a leading UK centre for research, personal and organisational development in health care for over 35 years.
  5. HSMC regularly undertakes research and development work for a wide range of major research funders such as the Department of Health, strategic health authorities, the NHS Institute, primary care trusts and local authorities.
  6. HSMC also delivers a number of MSc and professional development programmes explicitly designed to support professional as well as academic development including the NHS Management Training Scheme (NHS MTS). HSMC recently celebrated 10 years of delivering the educational component of the scheme which is the fast track route to becoming a future NHS leader.

Biographical note:

Chris Ham is a health policy analyst with extensive experience of working with health service agencies in the UK and internationally. He is currently Professor of Health Policy and Management, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, and was Director of the Centre from 1993 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004 Chris was director of the strategy unit at the Department of Health. Chris previously worked for The King’s Fund from 1986 to 1992.

He has served as an adviser to numerous agencies including the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, and the Health Departments of New Zealand and Sweden. Within the UK, he has advised the Audit Commission, the British Dental Association, the British Medical Association, the NHS Confederation and the House of Commons Health Committee.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practitioners, and a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management. He is a non-executive director of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Chris was awarded a CBE for his services to the NHS in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004.