EXCLUSIVE: “Time for the healthcare and assistive technology industry’s voice to be heard,” says new BHTA boss

Dr Simon Festing BHTA CEO
Dr Simon Festing will become the BHTA’s first CEO in spring 2020

Dr Simon Festing, the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), has declared that he will ensure the industry’s voice is heard as the organisation looks to the future.

A qualified Doctor of Medicine who practised as a Hospital Doctor in his earlier career, Dr Festing joins the BHTA from the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOPA) where, as CEO, he steered the organisation as it supported its 1,700 strong membership.

Bringing a wealth of experience to the healthcare trade association, Dr Festing has held senior roles in a variety of prestigious third sector organisations, including the British Heart Foundation, as well as in government departments where he helped implement key policy changes.

Alastair Maxwell, Chairman of the BHTA, commented: “We are delighted to have Simon join the BHTA during this pivotal time in the healthcare industry.

“His impressive management and leadership skills, combined with his medical background and previous roles in prominent associations and at government-level, will help lead the BHTA as we continue to promote the interests of our member companies during a period of unprecedented change in the sector.”

Dr Festing replaces former NRS Healthcare Sales Director, Andrew Stevenson, who has been the BHTA’s interim Director General since the departure of Mandie Lavin in November 2018.

Discussing the appointment, Dr Simon Festing told THIIS: “I am excited to have been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the BHTA and looking forward to meeting with members, learning more about their important activities and discovering what we can do to support their businesses.

“With the pressures facing a stretched social care system and a strained NHS, fuelled by rapidly shifting older demographics, the sector has such a pivotal role to play in helping to tackle these wide-spanning challenges.

“It is time for the healthcare and assistive technology industry’s voice to be heard and it is the BHTA’s responsibility to ensure our members receive the support and recognition they deserve.”

In his new role, Dr Festing will spearhead a programme of modernising the BHTA, including restructuring the association to enable it to meet the mounting challenges facing its varied membership.

According to the BHTA, the decision to supersede the title of Director General in favour of Chief Executive Officer will help align the 101-year-old organisation with modern management structures, with the title of CEO being more pertinent in today’s climate.

Dr Festing will join the BHTA on the 2nd March 2020.

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