Louise Ansari has been appointed national director at Healthwatch England, taking over from Imelda Redmond.
Ansari has a background in health communications, social policy and local services. For the past five years she has been director of communications and influencing at the Centre for Ageing Better.
She has previously held senior leadership roles at Diabetes UK and Lambeth Council and has also worked as a media specialist at Which? magazine, the Food Standards Agency, and the Health Education Authority.
Ansari will start her role at Healthwatch in February and will take forward the organisation’s work to help tackle the challenges the NHS faces, reduce health inequalities and deliver better care.
Sir Robert Francis QC, Healthwatch England chair, said Ansari’s ‘vast experience across communications, policy, evidence and health programmes, combined with her ability to identify opportunities to help create social change’, would build on what had been achieved over the past four years.
Ansari added: ‘Healthwatch’s unique position to listen and champion people’s voices in health and care will be more important than ever as services recover from the pandemic and start to tackle the health inequalities that Covid-19 has starkly highlighted.
‘I look forward to plotting a course towards a better future with our staff and volunteers and partners across the sector.’
Redmond stood down after five years in the role.