Healthcare - Wood takes HCA chair as NHS reforms bite

The Healthcare Communications Association has elected Cherry Wood as chair at a 'critical' time for the healthcare comms industry.

Wood, who is MD of Liberal Communications and one of the founder members of the HCA, takes over from Sarah Matthew, joint CEO of Virgo Health. Matthew has served as chair for the past three years.

The HCA, an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes excellence and best practice in the field of healthcare comms, is now in its tenth year.

This year, the HCA is anticipating immense changes as the Government pushes through the Health and Social Care Bill, introducing controversial NHS reforms.

'With the changes that are happening with the NHS, we're making sure that what we are doing is relevant,' said Wood. 'Never before has the role of the HCA been so critical in terms of championing best practice, innovation and excellence in healthcare comms.'

Wood is to oversee several key new areas of focus for the organisation, including activity around digital comms and medical education, as well as a greater international focus.

A digital sub-committee, led by Lucie Harper, healthcare MD at Weber Shandwick, has been given the task of revamping the HCA website for the first time since 2004.

Wood said the HCA would continue to develop relationships with The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the trade association for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.

The HCA has 84 members representing the majority of blue-chip pharma firms in the UK and leading healthcare comms consultancies.

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