Meet the team

Executive Team

Prof Richard Barker OBE


Prof Richard Barker is Chairman of the Health Innovation Board. Richard is a strategic advisor, speaker and author on healthcare and life sciences. As a workstream champion in the Accelerated Access Review, he has advised successive UK governments on new healthcare tech.

Tara Donnelly

Accountable Officer

Tara is an improvement enthusiast with an extensive background in leadership roles within the NHS. She has spent 16 years at board level including at University College London Hospitals NHS FT, as a non-executive director at Macmillan Cancer Support - as Chief Executive at the West Middlesex University Hospital and as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations at the Whittington Hospital.

Zoe Lelliott

Acting Chief Executive

Zoe studied Natural Sciences (experimental psychology) at Cambridge, and worked in mental health services, before moving into a managerial career in the NHS. She completed an MBA whilst working at Barts and the London.

Anna King

Commercial Director

Anna has been Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network since July 2013. Prior to her current role Anna was the Commercial Programme Director at the London Commercial Support Unit (Commissioning Support for London, NHS London and NHS Trust Development Authority).

Dr Natasha Curran

Medical Director

Natasha Curran is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at UCL Hospitals. She studied Medicine at the University of Liverpool qualifying with Honours and a BSc. Natasha trained in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at University College Hospitals, The Royal Marsden and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. Natasha was previously the Education and Research Fellow at the Centre for Anaesthesia. Her key interests are in abdomino-pelvic pain medicine, anaesthesia, simulation based training and medical leadership in the NHS.

Rebecca Jarvis

Director of Operations

Rebecca has spent much of her career working in project and programme management across health and social care organisations. She has also worked as a joint strategic commissioner for Bromley Council and Bromley PCT (now CCG) of services for older people and carers and a programme manager for the Diabetes Modernisation Initiative in Lambeth and Southwark.

Senior Leadership Team

Andrea Carter

Programme Director, Musculoskeletal

Andrea has worked in NHS management in London for 20 years, including General Management posts at Chelsea and Westminster and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals; and Programme Management roles including reorganisation of South East London Stroke Services. Andrea joined the Health Innovation Network soon after it was formed.

Catherine Dale

Programme Director, Patient Safety and Experience

Catherine has nearly twenty years’ experience in the NHS in London, including more than fifteen years in service improvement and transformation roles; a Masters in Business Psychology and expertise in Experience-Based Co-Design.

Dan Dartington

Head of Finance and Information

Dan is Head of Finance and Information, with additional responsibility for a range of bank office functions. He has been with HIN since June 2014, prior to which he was at the NHS London Strategic Health Authority and worked on the South London Healthcare Trust transition programme.

Emma Smyth

Director of Communications

Emma is an award-winning campaigns director who specialises in healthcare communications. She previously worked at the Department of Health, advising ministers on high profile issues including the Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, safety and culture, workforce and A&E pressures.

Sara Nelson

Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

Sara is a nurse who has worked in the NHS for over 27 years, not only in clinical roles but also in site management and as a senior nurse for digital at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT). Her work has centred on “bridging the gap” to support the cultural change needed for digital transformation within the NHS. As part of a central knowledge hub for digital projects across GSTT, Sara and her team also provided advice and validation for clinicians looking to implement new technologies. She has an excellent understanding of the needs of NHS patients and the staff that care for them and is passionate about bringing the benefits of new technologies to patients and professionals from across health and care more quickly.

Laura Semple

Programme Director, Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

Laura studied modern languages at Cambridge and joined the NHS as a management trainee in 2009. Since then she has held various hospital management roles at Moorfields Eye Hospital and District General Hospitals, as well as working in commissioning and at the Department of Health. In 2016 Laura became the first healthcare manager to volunteer for a substantial period at Connaught Hospital in Freetown with the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, where she worked for 6 months. Since her return in 2017 Laura has continued to lead the HIN Diabetes and Stroke Prevention programmes as well as a secondment role in 2018-29 as Programme Director for the King’s Health Partners Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology.

Lesley Soden

Programme Director – Innovation, Services for Industry

Lesley has over 20 years experience in the NHS and public sector. She has worked in senior business & strategy roles in mental health and community Trusts involving community engagement, programme management, business development, bid writing and service re-design, all delivered in collaboration with a variety of partnerships.