STRUCTURE: University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Sir Robert Naylor has been appointed chair of the Shelford Group.

The Shelford Group represents the 10 biggest academic teaching hospital trusts in the English NHS.

It has pressed the government for increased funding for highly specialised services and research.

Sir Robert succeeds University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust chief Dame Julie Moore. Before her, the chair was former Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Gareth Goodier.

Sir Robert has been chief executive of UCLH since 2000.

He said in a statement: “Our original purpose, to learn from each other through benchmarking, has evolved into a recognition of the need to promote our research, academic and patient interests.

“We hope that the unified voice of ten leading hospitals in the NHS will continue to have an impact on policy makers and politicians at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the NHS. Our hospitals and partner universities represent unique national assets with worldwide reputations that make a very considerable contribution to wealth and knowledge creation, as well as providing a significant part of the most specialist patient care in the NHS.”

Dame Julie said: “It has been a great privilege to have chaired the Shelford Group for the past year, during this challenging and uncertain time for the NHS.”