NICE confirms Fish in top communications post

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence has ended its search for a top spin doctor by appointing acting communications head Louise Fish to the newly created role of communications programme director.

Fish takes a downgraded top communications role at NICE, whose PR team has lacked a permanent head since Anne-Toni Rodgers quit last September.

Fish said although her new role at the organisation – set up in 1999 to provide patients, health professionals and the public with guidance on best practice – was board level, she does not have Rodgers’ former status as an executive director.

‘Anne-Toni’s was a broader, strategic position,’ said Fish, who reports to CEO Andrew Dillon.

NICE is on the hunt for two executive directors – it currently has three. Fish said comms could regain executive boardroom power if the directors have sufficient comms experience.

Fish’s 21-strong team is split between publishing and editorial, guidance dissemination, press and marketing, new media, corporate comms and administration.

Rodgers quit to join medical equipment firm Baxter Healthcare as director of government affairs and public policy (PRWeek, 5 September 2003).

The publication of guidance on caesarean sections, scheduled next month, is one of the upcoming comms challenges facing NICE.

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