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Mike Birtwistle and Sarah Winstone to leave MHP Health Mandate

Rupert Gowrley and Rachel Rowson will take over as interim heads
MHP,-Mike-Birtwistle

The head and deputy head of MHP Health Mandate, Mike Birtwistle and Sarah Winstone, will be stepping down in August, although remaining as consultants for the agency on a limited number of projects until the end of the year.

MHP Health Mandate, which is the health policy and communications arms of MHP Communications, will be led in the interim by Rachel Rowson and Rupert Gowrley.

MHP,-Sarah-Winstone“For both Sarah and I, playing our part in building MHP Health Mandate and developing such a strong and talented team has been one of the most rewarding parts of our professional lives,” said Birtwistle.

“However, now is the right time to do something different. We wanted to make sure that we handed over with a strong succession plan in place and the team is set for its next stage of development. We have no doubt that, under Rachel and Rupert's leadership, the team is set for the next stage of its development.” 

Commenting on the announcement, MHP Communications chief executive Gavin Devine, said: “I want to pay tribute to Mike and Sarah for the contribution they have made. I also want to thank Rupert and Rachel for taking up the leadership of the practice. We are looking forward to an exciting future for this talented and expert team as it moves into this new phase of its development.”

MHP,-Rachel-Rowson

Rowson has been with the consultancy for four and a half years, advising on issues for clients across the NHS, voluntary sector and commercial organisation. Prior to joining the team she was policy and public affairs manager at Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancerbackup.

She said: “It has been a pleasure working with Mike and Sarah over the past four and a half years. Together we have made the MHP Health Mandate team the best in the business. Rupert and I are looking forward to beginning an exciting new chapter for the team and our clients.”

Focusing on health policy issues that impact commercial organisations and trade associations, Gowrley has been with MHP Health Mandate for the past three years. Earlier in his career, Gowrley worked as a commercial lawyer and a political researcher and campaigner, becoming director in the government relations for the law firm DLA Piper.

MHP,-Rupert-Gowrley

He said: “This is the best and strongest team I have had the pleasure to work in. We're all excited about the future as we expand our offer into new disease areas, social care, and local-level engagement. We have agreed a way forward which best supports our clients and the team. Mike and Sarah will continue to work with us until the end of the year on a limited number of projects. They leave as firm friends of the team, of MHP and as personal friends.”

Images: upper right, Mike Birtwistle, upper left, Sarah Winstone, lower right, Rachel Rowson, lower left, Rupert Gowrley

27th June 2013

From: Marketing

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