PRSB appoints Professor Reecha Sofat as new Chair

The Professional Records Standards Body has today (20th June) announced the appointment of Professor Reecha Sofatas their new Chair. She will take up the role from October 2024.

A Clinical Pharmacologist, Reecha brings a passion for data science and extensive clinical and research insights thanks to the many leadership roles she has held across the NHS, academia and scientific societies and her dedication to embedding research into routine health and social care.  

Reacting to her appointment Reecha said: 

“I am honoured and excited to be joining the PRSB at this stage of its journey. I am passionate about using the rich health data that is already collected across NHS and social care to better understand the causes and consequences of disease and improve health outcomes. I believe standards are at the core of delivering better care and bridging the gap between health and social care in our digital health care future – but they are also increasingly core to research and data-driven innovation.  

I have a particular interest in research to supportbetter, safer and fairer use of medicines.In the UK, at least £19 Billion is spent on medicines. This cost is second only to the workforce. But we don’t know how this is spent because medicines and health outcome data are not linked and there are no adequate standards. We need to get the basics right – consistently across the four nations of the United Kingdom – before we can even imagine reaping the full benefits of tools like artificial intelligence. Only if we get the data foundations right, will new technology be truly transformative. 

The UK is in a unique position to be able to lead standards globally with a cradle to grave care record, and the PRSB is at the centre of a step change in achieving excellence in standards which is translated to better patient outcomes. 

At the end of October 2024, Professor Maureen Baker CBE will step down after seven years as Chair of the PRSB. A GP since the early 1980s, Maureen has been a long-term national leader and advocate of patient safety and informatics, having held the role of clinical director for patient safety with NHS Connecting for Health and been Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners. She said: 

I am very proud of my part in how far the PRSB has come. It has grown from small beginnings to become the authoritative voice on information record standards, representing the needs of professionals, people, suppliers, and organisations that provide care and working at the forefront of digital transformation.  

I have spent my career championing quality improvement and patient safety through better use of clinical and professional care information. As we stand on the cusp of new and exciting possibilities around uses of data and analytics, I am so pleased that PRSB’s new chair shares my commitment to getting the basics right first. I particularly welcome Reecha’s focus on driving up data quality to understand how to make medicines safer for everyone; ensuring they are cost effective and personalised right down to genetic risk factors.”  

Lorraine Foley, CEO of the PRSB, said: 

“We have been incredibly fortunate to have Maureen Baker CBE as a steadfast supporter of the PRSB since 2017. She has guided us from our early days in start-up mode, to our current position of readiness for growth and maturity. Maureen will certainly be a hard act to follow, but I know she will remain a staunch ally and champion of the work of the PRSB. 

Reecha has the skill and determination to build on these strong foundations and shares our understanding of standardised data as the golden thread that runs between the safest, most personalised care and life-saving research and innovation. Tech comes and goes, but data quality is the thing that we need to get right if we want to deliver quality care. Reecha has the expertise and impact to help people to understand the fundamental role and value of standards as the foundation of better care. We welcome her leadership over the next chapter for the PRSB.” 

Notes to editors

About Reecha 

Professor Reecha Sofat is Breckenridge Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool. She practices general internal medicine and is also an Associate Director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Data Science Centre (DSC) which is led by Health Data Research UK (HDRUK). 

Reecha was also announced as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in May 2024, recognising her remarkable contribution to advancing biomedical and health sciences, ground-breaking research discoveries and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society.  

Sources to note: 

Medicines expenditure:  

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