Academic appointed as Non-Executive Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

A University of Plymouth academic with more than 20 years’ experience in health policy and health services research has been appointed a Non-Executive Director of NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Sheena Asthana, Professor of Health Policy, is one of five new appointments who will support the organisation’s work to provide national guidance and advice that improves health and social care.

Professor Asthana has been an applicant on more than £5 million of funded research projects, attracting over £1.5 million as a principal investigator, and her research spans four broad areas: – NHS resource allocation, health care equity, health inequalities and evidence-based public health, and health services evaluation.

She has also been involved in research examining education and equity in the UK, local government resource allocation and national funding formulae.

This appointment is her latest high-profile role, as she has previously worked with regional and national organisations and provided evidence to a number of government committees and inquiries.

Professor Asthana has initially been appointed for three years, and said:

“NICE has a broad remit across health policy and guidance, and I am delighted to have been appointed as a Non-Executive Director. From medical technology and digital products, to guidance on treatments and how to manage conditions, its work and the potential effects of that are huge. But this is also a time of great change for the NHS as a whole, and it is a real honour to be given the opportunity to use my expertise to guide all those who are being impacted by that.”

NICE was originally set up in 1999, becoming a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) in 2013, and its role is to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services.

It does this by producing evidence-based guidance and advice for practitioners, developing quality standards and performance metrics and providing a range of information services for commissioners, practitioners and managers across the spectrum.

Professor David Haslam, chair of NICE, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome our five new Non-Executive Directors to NICE’s board. They join the organisation during challenging times across health and social care, so their collective expertise across these sectors is invaluable. Our Board members are ultimately responsible for the organisation’s strategy and governance. I look forward to working with our new and current board members to ensure that we continue to provide NICE with robust support and well-informed direction to help improve outcomes for people using health and social care services.”

Professor Sheena Asthana

Sheena Asthana is Professor of Health Policy in the School of Law, Criminology and Government at Plymouth University. Her research programme spans four broad areas: NHS resource allocation; health care equity; health inequalities and evidence based public health; and health services evaluation. She has also been involved in research examining education and equity in the UK and on local government resource allocation. External responsibilities include: Membership of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) (DH); Steering Group Member, Rural England; and Council Member, Royal Society for Public Health, 2012. 

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