Meet the leadership team

Information about our leadership team is available below.

Professor Tim Briggs CBE

Chair and National Lead of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) and Honorary Colonel of 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital RAMC

Tim is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and was appointed National Director for Clinical Improvement and Elective Recovery for NHS England in November 2022. He is Chair of the GIRFT programme and leads the roll out of GIRFT methodology across all surgical and medical specialties.

Tim was appointed to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital as a 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 is also chair and national lead of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) and Honorary Colonel of 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital RAMC.

He was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to the surgical profession.

Rachel Yates

Rachel is Director of the GIRFT programme and its co-founder alongside Professor Tim Briggs. 

Rachel is a public affairs and clinical management consultancy professional with more than 25 years’ experience, including delivering complex data-driven clinical improvement programmes, managing trade associations, policy development, public affairs, stakeholder engagement, government relations, corporate journalism and public relations, and has been on the membership of a number of key national committees and policy development groups.

Nicola Joyce

Nicola is responsible for the delivery of the programme’s clinically-led reviews and deep dives. Nicola is one of the founder members of GIRFT and has been part of the project since its inception, helping to model the methodology used to run the programme.

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 helped support the trust through its foundation trust application before moving to another trust.

Ruth Tyrrell

Ruth joined GIRFT from an organisational development and service improvement background. 

She is a Fellow of the CIPD with more than 14 years’ board-level experience within the NHS. As an effective board and executive team member, she has contributed to wider business strategy, particularly through her knowledge of Lean/Six Sigma/continuous improvement methodologies, which she has applied to HR&OD, achieving significantly reduced sickness absence levels, improved staff engagement ratings, performance-related pay progression and succession planning.

Ruth joined the NHS as a management trainee and has worked in the North West, Wales and West Midlands, with membership of numerous regional and national groups.

A member of the Neuro Leadership Institute and a qualified coach, Ruth is currently developing new approaches to performance management and engagement in change, using insights from the growing field of neuro psychology and behavioural economics and their application to organisational change, as part of the GIRFT programme.

Will Pank

Will oversees policy, and stakeholder engagement. and works on the national medical devices safety programme.

Will has a background in NHS programme management and strategy, working in both commissioner and provider services. He joined GIRFT from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network where he was responsible for setting up and overseeing a series of clinically-led networks working to deliver improvements to patient care across nine provider trusts.

With qualifications in project and programme management, his NHS career over the past 17 years has involved creating programmes and structures to maximise improvement opportunities, as well as brokering partnering agreements with various NHS organisations, agencies and universities.

Graham Lomax

Graham is responsible for leading the implementation team and supporting trusts and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in putting recommendations into local practice.

He joined the NHS in 2005 on the graduate management training scheme, with placements including an elective in Taranaki, New Zealand, and gained an MSc in Healthcare Leadership.

Since then, Graham has gained considerable operational experience in the acute sector with Salford Royal, Imperial College, and University Hospitals South Manchester (now Manchester Foundation Trust) where he was Divisional Director of Operations for Scheduled Care for three years.  Since joining GIRFT, Graham has worked closely with Professor Tim Briggs to establish and lead the delivery of the National Theatre Programme, the HVLC (High Volume Low Complexity) Programme, and the Further Faster Programme.