Lorna Branton started in her new role as NHS Digital's head of comms for GP data, planning and research last week, and leads a team of about eight people.
The move is a return to NHS Digital for Branton. She had left her job as head of media and campaigns last November, to become executive lead for comms at Sherwood Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Commenting on her return to the public body, Branton told PRWeek: “This is a bit of a passion project of mine. It is the first time I’ve worked on one project rather than corporately, but I really believe in the power of GP data to support better health and care, and in the transparent communications approach which we have committed to.”
She added: “The role is a real opportunity to show how complex conversations can be held with the public as part of a strategic communications approach and to demonstrate how research, early engagement and active listening can shape a national programme. I am incredibly excited to get started and am lucky to have a really talented team working with me.”
Branton's first industry job was as an assistant at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, followed by a stint as a PR officer at Redbridge and Waltham Forest Health Authority.
She was appointed media relations manager at the University of Sheffield in 2002, leaving three years later to become head of external comms at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2014 Branton moved to NHS Digital, where she spent almost seven years.
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