Healthwatch England, the national health and care “consumer champion”, has appointed Imelda Redmond as its new national director.

Ms Redmond has extensive experience in the not for profit sector, including as chief executive for the now defunct charity 4Children, director of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie Cancer Care and chief executive of Carers UK.

She received a CBE in the 2010 new year’s honours list for working to promote the needs of carers.

Ms Redmond said of her appointment: “There are big challenges facing the health and care sector… It is clear the only way the NHS and care services are going to meet these challenges is if people and clinicians work as partners, and Healthwatch provides the perfect platform to help make this happen.”

Her appointment was confirmed by Jane Mordue, who this week had her roles as chair of Healthwatch and non-executive director of Care Quality Commission made permanent. Ms Mordue has held both these positions on an interim basis since last December.

Ms Redmond will start as national director on 9 January and succeeds Susan Robinson, the current acting national director, who is taking retirement.