A former NHS trust chief executive who set up one of the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks eight years ago, has joined the Innovation Agency as a non-executive director.
Raj Jain recently retired as chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance, one of the largest organisations in the NHS providing specialist, acute and community services in Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and Salford.
In 2013 while he was chief executive of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Raj helped to set up the AHSN for Greater Manchester, becoming managing director for the organisation’s initial 18 months and helping to establish the national AHSN Network.
He then returned to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust where he led on the development of a hospital group which became the Northern Care Alliance, formally established in October 2021. He later became CEO of Salford Royal and its group the Northern Care Alliance.
In an earlier role Raj was Director of HR and Organisational Development at Salford Royal, and Deputy HR Director at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust, where also undertook senior operational and modernisation roles. He joined the NHS after an early career in the oil and gas industry.
Raj said: “Innovation is really important in the NHS; we cannot square the circle of demand, affordability and patient experience, without some major innovations in the way we work.
“I wanted to join the Innovation Agency because their values, culture and leadership style align with my own; and I want to play a part in spreading innovations which benefit our local population and support our local systems in meeting the challenges of increasing demand.”
Innovation Agency Chair Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE said: “We are delighted to welcome Raj to our senior leadership team. We believe our organisation and our region will benefit from his knowledge and experience as an NHS leader, particularly in managing change, developing place-based partnerships and his interests in innovation and addressing health inequalities.”
Raj has achieved a number of national recognition awards, including HSJ Hospital of the Year for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Global Digital Exemplar and CQC Outstanding rating for Salford Royal; an Honorary Professorship from the University of Salford; and a national excellence in leadership award.
He is working on a number of assignments as an independent practitioner in fields that include digital enabled health, NHS provider development and addressing inequalities. These include a role as lead officer for the NHS North West BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Assembly.
Raj was born in the UK, lives in Liverpool and has Punjabi Indian parents who emigrated to the UK in the 1950s.