Meet the team: Executive Team

GIRFT is a partnership between the NHS Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust (RNOH), which first hosted the pilot programme, and the Operational Productivity Directorate of NHS Improvement (NHSI).

Dr Jeremy Marlow

Executive Director of Operational Productivity, NHS Improvement

Jeremy took up the post of Director of Productivity and Efficiency at the Department of Health in July 2015, including working with Lord Carter to support NHS hospital trusts and foundation trusts to become more efficient. In April 2016, NHS Improvement was formed, bringing together Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority, Patient Safety, the National Reporting and Learning System, the Advancing Change Team and the Intensive Support Teams.

Jeremy’s has previously been Head of Home and Foreign Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit between 2006 and 2010. He also led two major reviews for Lord Carter: into legal aid in 2006 and prison reform in 2007. Between 2010 and 2012, Jeremy was the Principal Private Secretary at DEFRA, before becoming the Director of Strategy from 2012 until he moved to the Department of Health in 2015.

Rob Hurd

CEO of the RNOH and joint SRO of GIRFT

Rob has 25 years NHS Senior Management experience, 12 years at Board level and nine years as Chief Executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust.

He led the turnaround of the RNOH from a `double weak’ rated Trust (2008) to nine outstanding ratings from the CQC (2014). The internal culture and external engagement of the organisation has been transformed.

In partnership with Professor Briggs he established GIRFT linked to the Vanguard Programme and the National Orthopaedic Vanguard. It also had academic validation as a formal NIHR CLAHRC evaluation project and publication in BMC Health Services Research (and highly commended HSJ Award).

Previously he had a leadership role in the successful UCLH Foundation Trust application 2004 and implementing the full business case for £422m UCLH FT New Hospital PFI (opened in April 2005) and as lead for numerous associated business cases.

Dr Rhydian Philips

GIRFT Policy & Implementation Director and Deputy SRO, NHS Improvement

After qualifying from the University of Wales College of Medicine, Rhydian spent five years working as a clinician in hospitals in Cardiff, Carmarthen, Bath and Bristol, gaining experience in a wide range of specialties including general and acute medicine.

He joined the diplomatic service in 2000 and served for eleven years in a variety of postings including at the British Embassy, Tokyo, as well as working on the NATO counter terrorism and counter-proliferation policy.

After the FCO he spent six years as a senior civil servant, first at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, where he led a national nuclear emergency planning improvement programme, then at the Department for Transport where he oversaw Network Rail’s delivery of its £15bn rail enhancement programme.
Rhydian returned to the NHS to join NHS Improvement as the Director of Policy & Implementation and Deputy SRO for Getting It Right First Time. His role includes ensuring that GIRFT evolves from the successful orthopaedics pilot into a national programme delivering improvements in more than 30 specialties across all English hospital trusts.

Professor Tim Briggs

Chair of GIRFT and NHS Improvement’s National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency

Professor Briggs qualified from The Royal London Hospital in 1982 with honours in surgery and a number of prizes. After his senior registrar training he was appointed to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital as Consultant in 1992. His specialist interests are in orthopaedic oncology as well as surgery to the hip and knee. He was Medical Director at the RNOH for 15 years, ensuring a re-build and was President of the British Orthopaedic Association in 2014.

He was appointed as National Director for Clinical Quality and Efficiency for the NHS in September 2015 and has been asked to lead and roll out his GIRFT methodology, developed in orthopaedics, across all surgical and medical specialties within the provider network.

Rachel Yates

Managing Director and Deputy SRO of GIRFT, Director of National Orthopaedic Policy Unit

Rachel is Director of the National Orthopaedic Policy Unit based at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), UK’s leading specialist orthopaedic hospital, as well as Managing Director and Deputy SRO of the GIRFT Programme. With 20+ years’ experience in policy development, public affairs, project management and corporate journalism, Rachel was a key member of the National Spinal Taskforce and was an affiliate member of the Specialised Orthopaedics Clinical Reference Group (CRG) as it advised on the transfer of specialised commissioning to NHS England.

Co-founder of the GIRFT programme alongside Professor Tim Briggs and Rob Hurd, Rachel is also Chief Officer of the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance and Director of the National Orthopaedic Alliance Vanguard Project.

Rachel holds a BA Hons in History of Art/Anthropology from Oxford Brookes University and a postgraduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.

Nicola Joyce

Review Director

Nicola is Director of the GIRFT Review team responsible for the delivery of the project’s Clinically-led reviews and deep dives. Previously Senior Project Manager and Project Manager, Nicola is one of the founder members of GIRFT and has been part of the project since its inception, and has helped model the methodology that is being used to run this national programme.

She has been on nearly all the orthopaedic Deep Dives with Professor Briggs and has seen first-hand the variation in clinical practice across the board. She is passionate about the work her and her team are doing to help reduce unwarranted variation and improve patient care across all the work-streams.

Nicola has been working in the NHS since 2006 where she joined Oxford University Hospitals providing project support in a public consultation relating to the Horton Hospital in Banbury. Following this, she has helped support the Trust through its Foundation Trust application before moving to another Trust.