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Jonathan Montgomery to be first chair of UK Health Research Authority

New government body to create a consistent national system of research governance

Jonathan Montgomery - Health Research AuthorityProfessor Jonathan Montgomery has been appointed the first chair of the UK's newly launched Health Research Authority (HRA).

Prof Montgomery will leave his current role as chair of Hampshire Primary Care Trust to head the government organisation set up in December, 2011, to 'protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research'.

Incorporating the National Research Ethics Service (NRES), it will work closely with organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to create a consistent national system of research governance.

Eventually, it will also perform the Health Secretary's function of approving the processing of patient information for medical research.

In addition to serving as chair of the HRA, Prof Montgomery will retain his roles as professor of healthcare law at the University of Southampton and chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “He is a leading expert in healthcare law, genetics and bioethics, and in addition he has an in-depth knowledge of the NHS gained from working on two NHS Trusts, a primary care trust and a strategic health authority.

“His depth of knowledge and breadth of experience will be vital in helping the Health Research Authority to safeguard the interests of patients whilst streamlining health research regulations.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer and chief scientific advisor, Department of Health said: “I am delighted that Professor Montgomery has been appointed as the chair of the Health Research Authority to take this exciting phase of development forward.

“Its role is to help patients to benefit from participating in research by simplifying processes for ethical research, while protecting them from unethical research.”

14th June 2012

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