Find out more about the highly specialised technology evaluation committee members by reading their biographies.

Dr Peter Jackson, PhD FRCP (chair)

Consultant physician and honorary reader in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Peter runs the Sheffield hypertension service and provides acute medical services for care of the elderly. He also plays a role locally in medicines management and chairs the Trust Medicines Safety Committee. His academic interests are in the factors that influence decisions both by prescribers and patients whether to start or stop long-term drug treatment, particularly in the elderly.

Professor Ron Akehurst, BSc (Econ) (London), Hon MFPHM

Strategic director, BresMed

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Ron is the strategic director of BresMed Health Solutions Ltd and Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). He is the founder of ScHARR and was the dean of the School for 17 years. Ron's academic interests are primarily in health technology assessment (HTA) and he has been published widely in the area of health economics. Ron has contributed to the development of methods of HTA, carried out research and conducted HTAs in many different therapeutic areas.

Ron was a founding member of NICE's appraisal committee and served on it for 7 years. He has also served on the topic selection committee and public health interventions advisory committee and he is currently a member of the diagnostics advisory committee and highly specialised technologies committee.

Ron is a member of the Advisory Group on National Specialised Services, which advises the Secretary of State for Health on organisation of services for people with very rare conditions.

He has been involved in preparing HTA submissions to many bodies, including NICE, SMC, TLV, PBAC and CADTH. He has also advised healthcare companies on developing their in-house HEOR capabilities and overseas governments on implementing HTA.

Dr Paul Arundel

Consultant in children’s metabolic bone disease, Sheffield Children’s Hospital

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Paul is a full-time NHS consultant and clinical lead for the Paediatric Metabolic Bone Disease Service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. His work encompasses the delivery and improvement of care to children and young people with a wide range of bone diseases through multidisciplinary team working and collaboration with partners across the UK.

He has overseen the implementation of the Highly Specialised Services for both “severe, complex and atypical osteogenesis imperfecta” and “paediatric-onset hypophosphatasia”.

Clinical and research interests include assessment and treatment of bone fragility disorders, achondroplasia and disorders of calcium and phosphate metabolism including X-linked hypophosphataemic rickets.

Philip Beales

Consultant in children’s metabolic bone disease, Sheffield Children’s Hospital

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Philip is professor of medical and molecular genetics at UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and an NIHR senior investigator. He is chair of the UCL Institute for Precision Medicine. Philip is an expert in rare/orphan diseases and is best known for his research into, and clinical characterisation of, the ciliopathies - a new emerging group of conditions. He has led research culminating in novel gene discoveries for over 45 disorders. Philip's lab undertakes research in translational science and therapeutics and is leading a new gene therapy spinout from UCL. He practises clinical genetics at both Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, and is national clinical lead for an NHS England Highly Specialised commissioned service. Philip has long recognised the importance of academia and healthcare industry partnerships and has co-founded a number of diagnostics and biotech start-ups. He was elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.

Ms Annett Blochberger, MPharm, DipPharmPrac

Pharmacist – Specialised Commissioning, NHS England and NHS Improvement

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Annett is deputy head of London’s Specialised Commissioning Pharmacy team at NHS England and NHS Improvement. Here she manages a high cost medicines portfolio of significant value which is invested through London NHS Trusts for the delivery of specialised services. Her work ensures use of these medicines within services promotes quality, efficiency and represents value for money. Prior to her appointment at NHS England and NHS Improvement, she worked for several years in various commissioning roles on behalf of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and within one of the largest NHS trusts in England, working with multiple stakeholders to improve patient access and outcomes to services, and cost-effectiveness to the NHS.

As a clinical pharmacist, Annett has a broad range of experience across a number of clinical specialties: neurosciences, ophthalmology, haematology, rheumatology, gastroenterology and dermatology. She is currently the chair of the medical data solutions and services (MDSAS) Data and Referral Group, steering the clinical data requirements needed to effectively drive immunoglobulin stewardship across England. Annett is also co-chair of the London Circular and Policy Implementation Group which governs the implementation of NHS England commissioning policies at regional level.

In her previous role as lead pharmacist for neurosciences at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, she led and expanded the clinical pharmacy service to patients with neurological conditions and was a founding member of the UKCPA Neurosciences Group which holds a strong focus on clinical education and networking.

Annett is a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow (2019/20) and has been a NICE Medicines and Prescribing Associate since 2018.

Emtiyaz Chowdhury

Manager in health economics, Parexel

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Emtiyaz is a manager in health economics at Parexel, a clinical research organisation which offers market access consulting services to the life science industry. He oversees a team of economists and statisticians to develop health economic models and prepare written materials to support submissions to health technology assessment bodies including NICE.

Prior to his work in market access consulting, Emtiyaz worked as a health economist at the Royal College of Physicians (National Guidelines Centre) who were commissioned by NICE to develop clinical guidelines. As a member of the technical team, Emtiyaz advised NICE’s guideline committees to incorporate health economic evidence into their recommendations.

Emtiyaz holds an MA from University College London in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health and a BSc in Biological Sciences (Physiology and Pharmacology) from the University of Leicester.

Sarah Davis

Senior lecturer in health economics, ScHARR, The University of Sheffield.

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Sarah is deputy director of NICE's Decision Support Unit, which is commissioned by NICE to provide a research and training resource to support the Technology Appraisal Programme.

She is based at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield and is a member of the ScHARR Technology Assessment Group. Her technical background is in cost-effectiveness modelling and she has a particular interest in patient-level simulation.

Prior to her role at ScHARR, she was Health Economic Lead at the National Clinical Guideline Centre, which is commissioned by NICE to develop clinical guidelines, and she maintains an interest in guideline development including the use of modelling to inform service delivery guidance.

Stuart Davies

Director of finance, Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee

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Having held director-level positions for both the NHS and Welsh Government for the last 15 years, Stuart has extensive experience of commissioning specialised health services in Wales. He has a 31 year career in public service with previous experience in local government, NHS England (former Regional Health Authority) and in NHS acute, community and mental health services trusts in England and Wales.

Stuart is a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and a member of the ACCA UK Health Panel (2014 panel award winner).

Carrie Gardner

Specialised commissioning manager, NHS England

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Carrie is the regional programme of care lead for internal medicine for NHS England (London Region). She has responsibility for service areas such as cardiac, vascular, renal and specialised respiratory services. She has worked in operational commissioning roles in London since the establishment of NHS England. She has a background in clinical audit and in the private sector.

Carrie was previously the lead commissioner for the cardiac services Clinical Reference Group which has developed national commissioning products such as clinical commissioning policies, quality dashboards and improving value schemes.

Mr Jeremy Manuel, OBE

Lay member

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Jeremy co-founded the UK Gauchers Association in 1991, was its national chairman until 2012 and remains a member of its board. He was also a founding member of the European Gaucher Alliance, an umbrella organisation of patient groups representing the interests of Gaucher patients. He was appointed its first chairman in 2008, a position he held until 2016. Jeremy was appointed honorary president on its transition to the International Gaucher Alliance. He is also a director (the only non-clinician or scientist) of the European Working Group on Gaucher Disease.

Through his work with the association Jeremy has represented the interests of Gaucher patients both in the UK and abroad to clinicians, scientists, government and industry. He has jointly with others contributed to peer reviewed journals and other publications.

Jeremy is a practising lawyer (solicitor) and an accredited commercial mediator. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1994 and an OBE in the Queens New Year Honours List 1999 for services to the Gauchers Disease. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Dr Shehla Mohammed MD, FRCP

Consultant in clinical genetics and clinical lead for National Highly Specialist Service - Cockayne and trichothiodytrophy syndromes

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Shehla is honorary senior lecturer in clinical genetics, King’s College Hospital, and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London. She is a paediatric clinical geneticist with 24 years’ experience, predominantly in rare genetic disorders and in the care of children and families with life-limiting disorders. Her clinical and research interest is in paediatric neuromuscular and DNA repair disorders.

Shehla has a range of committee experience with a number of organisations, including her past role as expert clinical adviser to the UK Genetic Testing Network. She contributes to advisory bodies on policy development and implementation of new genomic technologies. As a former head of service of one of the largest regional genetics services, Shehla has extensive experience of negotiating the establishment of new services, implementing Highly Specialist Service clinics and devising novel models of service delivery.

Shehla has contributed to both service and national policy development such as UKGTN Guide to Centres with specialist expertise for rare genetic disorders, genomic medicine in the UK and input into national rare disease strategy.

Dr Mark Sheehan

Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Ethics Fellow, The Ethox Centre, University of Oxford

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Mark is Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre ethics fellow at the Ethox Centre and a research fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. He received his PhD in philosophy from the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York.

He is currently a national research ethics advisor for the National Research Ethics Service, a member of the Thames Valley Priorities Forum and clinical ethics fellow at Buckinghamshire NHS Trust. He was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working group on research in children and a member of the NHS Advisory Group for National Specialised Services (AGNSS). He is a senior research fellow in philosophy at St. Benet's Hall, University of Oxford.

Dr Matt Smith

Consultant, Public Health England

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Matt is a consultant in public health medicine, based in Public Health England. He provides public health leadership and advice to NHS England nationally and regionally on the commissioning of specialised services. Prior to this, Matt held senior public health roles in local government and the NHS.

Mrs Karen Ann Whitehead MBE

Patient advocate, Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) Research Academy

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Karen has been disabled for the past 30 years, since she was diagnosed with the rare bone disease of idiopathic pregnancy associated osteoporosis (PAO) in her twenties. Her work history spans nearly 40 years and has primarily involved paid and voluntary charity work.

Karen was initially employed as a research librarian in a national scientific and technical research centre. She went on to work in various membership societies, including scientific and medical and various disability and condition-specific charities and non-profit organisations. She was awarded an MBE for her 'distinguished work services'.

Karen is involved with the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) as a patient advocate with the ROS Research Academy. She is a member of the technology and causes working groups and the bone strength and young and pregnancy osteoporosis subgroups. She has presented to both patients and health professionals over many years.

Karen is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians patient and carer panel, in their care quality and improvement department, and a supporter of Genetic Alliance and Rare Disease UK.

Karen is on the public and patient panel at the Royal College of Surgeons and is also a research partner with Versus Arthritis.

Ed Wilson

Associate professor of health economics and health policy, University of Exeter

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Ed is associate professor of health economics and Health Policy at the University of Exeter, working with Peninsula Technology Appraisal Group (PenTAG), one of several academic research groups contracted to produce systematic reviews and economic analyses for NICE, the UK National Screening Committee and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme.

He is a health economist with over 20 years’ experience working at the Universities of York, Cambridge and East Anglia, as well as some time working in industry. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and his research interests focus on decision analytic modelling, expert elicitation of parameters for models in the absence of robust data, and value of information analysis.

More information

Find out more about the committee and read papers from previous meetings.

About the highly specialised technologies evaluation committee


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