The umbrella body for England’s academic health science networks has announced a new chair and vice chair.

Seamus O’Neill, chief executive of the AHSN for the North East and Cumbria, will take over as chair from next month.

Piers Ricketts, chief executive of the Eastern AHSN, will take over as vice chair at the same time.

Dr O’Neill will continue in post as NE&C chief executive where he has been since it was established in 2013. Mr Ricketts will also remain in his post at the Eastern AHSN.

He took up the position in April this year having previously been a partner at consultancy KPMG.

The AHSN Network represents the 15 regional health science networks, which were set up in 2013 by NHS England to bring together academics, the NHS, local authorities and the private sector to drive innovation in health science research.

They were originally established with a five year term. In May, NHS England extended the license for another five years.