Portland drafts in Louise Fish to head new health practice

Portland has drafted in NHS Confederation head of comms Louise Fish to lead its new practice, Portland Health.

Healthcare role: Louise Fish will head up Portland's new division
Healthcare role: Louise Fish will head up Portland's new division

The agency's new division aims to combine political, media and digital expertise to support businesses in the health and social care sectors, as they adapt to the changes created as part of healthcare reform and regulation.

Fish will join the agency at the beginning of March and will report to Oliver Pauley, public affairs partner at Portland. She will oversee the agency's new hires working in her team.

She is charged with driving growth at Portland Health, and with leading its focus on strategic comms advice to health and social care organisations; policy and public affairs advice to clients following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act; and advice to organisations engaging with local authorities and well-being boards, among other targets.

Fish is currently director of comms and engagement at the NHS Confederation, which is a membership body for 'the full range of organisations that commission and provide NHS services' and has influencing health policy among its aims.

Before joining the NHS Confederation in 2009, she was a consultant at both Hanover and Fishburn Hedges, and was the comms director for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for nearly seven years.

Tim Allan, managing director at Portland, said: 'The issues surrounding public health have never been more in the public eye, with consumer and patient groups demanding more action from business. The creation of Portland Health will enable us to provide the specialist advice that companies adapting to such dramatic change need.'

Portland's clients include Apple, Google, McDonald's and Pfizer. Last week it hired Dan Timms, a senior government communicator, as associate director.

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