Dr Alastair Riddell
Chair, South West Academic Health Science Network
Dr Alastair Riddell joined the SW AHSN as Chairman in January 2016. Dr Riddell has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, life science and biotech industries.
He began his career as an Army medical doctor with six years’ experience in a variety of hospital specialities and general practice.
Chief Executive Officer, South West Academic Health Science Network
Jon joined the SW AHSN in April 2020 to continue his work across the health and care system leading innovation, strategy and building partnerships to improve population health.
Before joining the SW AHSN, Jon was the director of funding at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, helping the charity become recognised as a pioneer in urban health, and leading the design and development of the foundation’s £150 million portfolio of urban health programmes focused on some of the biggest health challenges facing cities around the world.
Prior to his position at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Jon worked across a range of health and social issues working with funders, investors and government agencies in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. Jon’s work included four years at the SW AHSN, helping to launch the organisation and developing a range of successful innovation programmes.
Jon has also held a range of non-executive roles, including seats on the advisory boards of the NHS Innovation Accelerator, SBRI Healthcare, the Health Innovation Network, the Research and Development Board of Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the UK Taskforce on Multiple Conditions.
Director of Programmes, South West Academic Health Science Network
Anita joined the team in autumn 2020. An experienced strategic
consultant across multiple sectors including health and care, Anita has a track record in driving innovation and delivering sustainable change.
Before joining the SW AHSN Anita was leading the design and delivery of new digitally-enabled models of outpatient care for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership.
Director of Partnerships, South West Academic Health Science Network
Dan joined the SW AHSN in August 2019. An executive director with experience across commercial, not-for-profit and public sectors, Dan has business development and commissioning expertise and strong and broad networks across health, care, support and housing sectors.
Dan joined local government in 2005 to use his passion and skills to improve life chances for vulnerable people. His work since across social care, mental health, drug and alcohol services, housing, care and support has allowed him to develop a holistic understanding of the drivers of wellbeing. In the last eight years Dan has designed, run and advocated for person-centred, asset-based holistic services.
Dan graduated from the University of Bath in 2005 with a BSc Psychology. He lives in Devon with his wife and three young children.
Director of Finance, South West Academic Health Science Network
Rich is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Prior to joining the SW AHSN, he worked at the University of Exeter and then Plymouth Marjon University as director of finance and facilities.
Rich holds the SW AHSN's information risk and company secretary responsibilities, as well as working locally and nationally on finance, investment and sustainability in practice.
Outside the office, Rich and his family run a smallholding, allowing him to indulge his hill farming roots in the region.
Professor Richard Smith
Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Exeter Medical School
Richard has experience across a wide range of national and international policy, funding and academic bodies. Before joining the University of Exeter Medical School in 2018 he served as dean of The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Faculty of Public Health & Policy, with prior positions in Sydney, Cambridge, Bristol, Melbourne and Norwich, having been educated at the University of York. Richard currently sits on the Boards of Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.
Director, Brake Property Limited
Gavin has a financial background having previously been a Managing Director with the global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. In his career he specialised in corporate finance, complex financial transactions and stock market flotations and has experience working across the major economies and financial markets. He now lives full-time in the South West and runs his own businesses in the property and retail sectors. Gavin was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge and studied at the Cambridge Judge Business School.
Professor Stuart Logan
Director, National Institute for Health Research Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care (Pen CLAHRC)
Stuart is a practising paediatrician, but his major role is as a researcher and Director of The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South West Peninsula - or PenCLAHRC.
Dr Sonja Manton
Executive Director and SRO, Integrated Care Partnership (Western Devon)
Sonja has managed and led acute and integrated community health and social care in the NHS in a variety of roles since January 2003, most recently for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust as their Associate Director for Community Health and Social Care, and previously as Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and General Manager for Health and Social Care at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust. She has a strong track record of working with clinicians and professionals in acute, primary and community health and social care provider and commissioning organisations, to deliver system-wide sustainable benefits for the population.
Neil Stevens joined the NHS in 1989 after completing a Psychology degree, followed by a postgraduate course in Artificial Intelligence. He started out in an Information Management role at Hammersmith Hospital before moving to the West Country where he worked in a range of Information Management and Technology roles. His last role before leaving the NHS was as Director of Informatics in Somerset where he led a team providing services to two Acute Trusts, a Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Community hospitals and primary care.
His passion has always been about the value that innovative technology can bring to the health and care environment and he now runs a successful management consulting business to pursue this aim. He is also a non-executive director for Bristol Community Health and for Stalis Ltd, an innovative technology company providing data quality, data migration, historical archive viewing and interoperability solutions in the health and care environment.
Jo is a clinical associate working with NHS England to support primary care networks and integration. Jo is a GP and the chief executive of GDoc Ltd, the county-wide GP provider in Gloucestershire, and of Gloucester GP Consortium Ltd, which provides urgent and primary care to deprived communities. She is also non-executive director of the medical indemnity provider MDDUS.
Jo spent two years with the Care Quality Commission as national medical advisor on urgent & emergency care. She was previously the medical director of community provider Gloucestershire Care Services and of a mental health provider. Before becoming a GP, Jo trained in emergency medicine and intensive care. She has an MA in medical law and ethics and has studied transformational change in healthcare at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Professor of Nursing/Deputy Director of Doctoral College, University of Plymouth
Bridie is a registered nurse with a background in clinical and academic appointments, and extensive experience in quality improvement, practice change, health services education and implementation research. For the last 20 years Bridie has played a leading role in evidence-based practice uptake and implementation in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, leading Joanna Briggs Collaboration Centres in each country. She is currently the director of the University of Plymouth’s Centre for Innovations in Health and Social Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence.
Bridie's research interests focus on knowledge translation (implementation science) and practice improvement, primarily in acute care settings. She is co-lead on the University of Plymouth’s South West Clinical Schools initiative to increase research capacity and capability among nurses and midwives.
Programme Director, Fit for my Future
Maria leads the Fit for my Future programme, a joint strategy by NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset County Council in collaboration with partners across the NHS and voluntary sector to drive the implementation of the Somerset vision.
Maria trained as a nurse and has over 25 years’ experience across the NHS, management consultancy and private healthcare sectors. She uses her clinical knowledge and programme management discipline to work in partnership with stakeholders from across health, social care, patient groups and regulators to develop and deliver healthcare strategy. Maria has a strong track record in delivering complex programmes and managing relationships to deliver improved outcomes for patients and the wider health and care system.