• Gary Ford elected as AHSN Network vice chair 
  • He will continue in his current role of chief executive of the Oxford AHSN
  • Will work alongside new network chair, Piers Ricketts 

A consultant stroke physician who developed the well-known face arm speech test – or FAST – has been elected vice chair of the Academic Health Science Network.

Gary Ford, who is also a consultant at Oxford University Hospitals Trust and professor of stroke medicine at the University of Oxford, will officially start his new role in August alongside the new AHSN Network chair, Piers Ricketts.

Mr Ricketts, previous vice chair of the AHSN network and chief executive of the Eastern AHSN, is taking over from Seamus O’Neill – who will be stepping down from the post at the end of August.

Professor Ford will continue in his role of chief executive of the Oxford AHSN alongside his new post.

He said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at an important time for AHSNs. I will work with Piers, the other chief officers and our partners across health and social care, universities and industry to ensure we continue to develop our role as the innovation arm of the NHS.”

This will be the second time Professor Ford has taken on the role following a previous stint in 2017-18. As well as developing FAST, which is now used to increase public and professional awareness of stroke, he also developed the first thrombolysis protocol for acute stroke in England.

He was awarded a CBE in 2013 for his services to research in stroke medicine. In 2018, he was identified as one of seven NHS researchers who have “transformed care in the NHS”.

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