Press release

Professor Jonathan Montgomery confirmed as Chair of Health Research Authority

Professor Jonathan Montgomery has today been confirmed as Chair of the Health Research Authority (HRA). Professor Montgomery is currently Professor…

Professor Jonathan Montgomery has today been confirmed as Chair of the Health Research Authority (HRA).

Professor Montgomery is currently Professor of Health Care Law at the University of Southampton, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Chair of Hampshire Primary Care Trust. He will head up the Health Research Authority, the new organisation that will protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research, building confidence while simplifying regulatory practice.
Professor Montgomery plans to withdraw from his role as Chair of Hampshire Primary Care Trust as soon as hand over arrangements have been agreed.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“I am very pleased to announce Professor Jonathan Montgomery’s appointment as the Chair of the Health Research Authority.

“He is a leading expert in healthcare law, genetics and bioethics, and in addition he has an in-depth knowledge of the NHS gained from working on two NHS Trusts, a Primary Care Trust and a Strategic Health Authority. His depth of knowledge and breadth of experience will be vital in helping the Health Research Authority to safeguard the interests of patients whilst streamlining health research regulations.”

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor, Department of Health said:

“The Health Research Authority has been set up to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research. Its role is to help patients to benefit from participating in research by simplifying processes for ethical research, while protecting them from unethical research. I am delighted that Professor Montgomery has been appointed as the Chair of the Health Research Authority to take this exciting phase of development forward. I wish him every success and hope that colleagues throughout health research will take this opportunity to support him and the Health Research Authority.”

Professor Montgomery said:

“I feel privileged to be appointed to chair the Health Research Authority. My first public service role was on a local research ethics committee and I know how important they are to safeguard the interests of participants. We can be proud of our country’s contribution to health research. Even so, some of our NHS approval processes delay high quality projects, especially those involving a number of different centres. We will continue to work to ensure that it is easy to carry out ethical research so that we make our contribution to ensuring that the highest levels of human knowledge and skill can be brought to bear to save lives and improve health as the NHS Constitution promises.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

• For media enquiries please ring the Department of Health newsdesk on 0207 210 4939.

• Jonathan is also Chair of the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards.

• This appointment is made in accordance with the Code of Practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies, issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity played no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Professor Montgomery has declared no political activity. For further information on the process for managing public appointments visit The Commissioner for Public Appointments website.

• Aside from his current roles as Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Chair of Hampshire Primary Care Trust and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, Professor Montgomery holds no other ministerial appointments.

• This appointment was offered at 2 days a week for up to £45k. The appointment is for three years. Final terms have yet to be confirmed.
• For further information on the Health Research Authority visit their website.

 • For further information on the Health and Social Care Act visit the Department of Health website.

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