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Professor Reecha Sofat appointed as the new chair of PRSB


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She will succeed Professor Maureen Baker CBE, who will step down after seven years as Chair of the PRSB

The Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB), which develops information standards for health and social care records, has appointed Professor Reecha Sofat as the new Chair.

She will assume the role at the end of October 2024, succeeding Professor Maureen Baker CBE, who will step down after seven years as Chair of the PRSB.

A Clinical Pharmacologist, Professor Sofat has held many leadership roles across the NHS, academia and scientific societies.

Professor Sofat is Breckenridge Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool. She practices general internal medicine and is also an Associate Director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Data Science Centre (DSC) which is led by Health Data Research UK (HDRUK).

With a passion for data science and extensive clinical and research insights, Professor Sofat is focused on embedding research into routine health and social care.

She said: “I am passionate about using the rich health data that is already collected across NHS and social care to better understand the causes and consequences of disease and improve health outcomes.

“I believe standards are at the core of delivering better care and bridging the gap between health and social care in our digital health care future – but they are also increasingly core to research and data-driven innovation.”

Professor Sofat emphasised that she is particularly interested in research to support better, safer and fairer use of medicines.

She highlighted that despite the UK’s substantial expenditure of at least £19 billion on medicines, second only to the workforce, it remains unknown how these funds are utilized because “medicines and health outcome data are not linked and there are no adequate standards.”

“We need to get the basics right – consistently across the four nations of the United Kingdom – before we can even imagine reaping the full benefits of tools like artificial intelligence. Only if we get the data foundations right, will new technology be truly transformative,” she noted.

Reflecting on her tenure, Professor Baker said, “I am very proud of my part in how far the PRSB has come. It has grown from small beginnings to become the authoritative voice on information record standards, representing the needs of professionals, people, suppliers, and organisations that provide care and working at the forefront of digital transformation.”

“I have spent my career championing quality improvement and patient safety through better use of clinical and professional care information.”

Professor Baker expressed her satisfaction that PRSB’s new chair shares her commitment to getting the basics right first.

“I particularly welcome Reecha’s focus on driving up data quality to understand how to make medicines safer for everyone; ensuring they are cost effective and personalised right down to genetic risk factors,” she said.

A GP since the early 1980s, Professor Baker has been a long-term national leader and advocate of patient safety and informatics, having held the role of clinical director for patient safety with NHS Connecting for Health and been Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Lorraine Foley, CEO of the PRSB, praised Professor Baker for her unwavering support since 2017, guiding the organisation from its early days in start-up mode to its current position of readiness for growth and maturity.

Foley said: “Maureen will certainly be a hard act to follow, but I know she will remain a staunch ally and champion of the work of the PRSB.”

Looking ahead, Foley highlighted Professor Sofat’s skill and determination to build upon these foundations.

“Reecha has the expertise and impact to help people to understand the fundamental role and value of standards as the foundation of better care. We welcome her leadership over the next chapter for the PRSB,” she added.

Professor Sofat was announced as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in May 2024, recognising her remarkable contribution to advancing biomedical and health sciences, ground-breaking research discoveries and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society.




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