Formerly executive medical director of Cambridge University Hospitals and a director of the Cambridge University Health Partners, Robert played a leading role in the establishment of Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in 2013, with their shared purpose of accelerating innovation in the NHS. He has since been closely involved in the National Innovation Accelerator (NIA) from its inception and mentors four 2015 NIA Fellows, each bringing novel technologies into routine NHS clinical use (AliveCor, PneuX, MyCOPD and the Non-injectable Connector, all of which have been included in the NHS Tariff, 2017-2018). He is currently working with Professor Julia Riley, a 2016 NIA Fellow, on Co-ordinating My Care, using health informatics to help people manage their care in a better, more integrated and holistic manner.
As a non-executive director of Health Enterprise East, 2009-2017, Robert was closely associated with the initial clinical and scientific development of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), a programme run through Health Enterprise East, now working on behalf of all fifteen AHSNs. The SBRI Healthcare programme provides start-up funding and advice to small and medium sized enterprises. The programme, funded by NHS England, has supported the development of a wide range of new technologies – a number of which are now poised to deliver improved quality and value across the NHS.
A respiratory physician by background, Robert spent four years as the first National Clinical Director of the Respiratory Programme, completing a number of programmes to improve quality of care. Currently a Vice President of the British Lung Foundation, he was appointed OBE for services to medicine and healthcare in the New Year’s honours, 2009.