Steven Spurr, COO, said he expected the appointment to be the first in ‘a number of new hires’ as the agency sought to build up a UK specialist team.
‘It’s about developing a UK specific health public affairs team, and with the NHS changes no one is really sure how things will land so that is a big part of it,’ he said.
The move comes ahead of major NHS changes set to be introduced next year in which GP-led bodies take charge of much of the NHS and replace Primary Care Trusts.
Spurr added: ‘Everyone is having to navigate this new system, and with the government after more efficiency savings we think it’ s critical that we have someone who can navigate that new landscape. There are also other elements to it, such as making sure people in this cost constrained environment get the access to the medicines they need.’
Horwood has ten years’ of experience within public affairs and strategic communications both in-house and in an agency setting.
This includes three years as a senior consultant at The Whitehouse Consultancy.
Horwood added: ‘The agency has a huge amount to offer clients and I am really looking forward to sharing this expertise with a wider UK health audience base.’