About us

The team

David Hare, Chief Executive

David Hare is the Chief Executive of the IHPN. He leads our team of staff and helps to steer the network’s work programme on behalf of our members. He is committed to ensuring that health and care services are consumer-led and that patients, commissioners and insurers are choosing the best services for each and every patient.

Previously David was a Director at The Whitehouse Consultancy, a political communications firm based in London. At Whitehouse David built and led the company’s public services team, providing advice and support to a wide range of organisations involved in delivering health, education, children’s services, social care and welfare-to-work programmes.

David has also acted as the Director of Strategy for the LIFT Council, the trade body that represents the private sector equity investors in the Local Improvement Finance Trust programme, overseeing all of their engagement with Government bodies.

Dr Howard Freeman, Clinical Director

Dr Howard Freeman is IHPN’s Clinical Director. Howard leads IHPN’s engagement with the CQC, helping them to understand the specific nature of independent sector service provision, as well as taking forward broader work with the sector on clinical quality and safety. Howard sits on the IHPN Board and contributes to the overall strategic direction of the organisation.

Howard is also a GP and has been chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group in Merton for two years. He was medical director and Responsible Officer for South West London for 10 years, and then associate medical director at NHS London. He has also chaired the London Clinical Commissioning Council as well as sitting on the London Health Board. He has been actively involved with the National Association of Primary Care.

David Furness, Director of Policy and Delivery

David Furness is IHPN’s Director of Policy and Delivery having worked as Senior Policy Adviser at NHS Improvement, covering areas such as choice and competition; acute care policy and community services. David has experience working on both domestic and international health policy with previous roles including Strategy and Communications Manager at the University of Notre Dame School of Medicine in Sydney, Australia; Head of Strategic Development at the Social Market Foundation think tank; and as a Public Affairs Executive at Standard Life Healthcare.

Dawn Hodgkins, Director of Regulation

Dawn Hodgkins is IHPN’s Director of Regulation, having held senior roles across the independent health sector as well as in the CQC and will be leading on all IHPN’s engagement with regulators and medical royal colleges.

Danielle Henry, Assistant Director of Policy and Programmes

Danielle Henry is IHPN’s Head of Policy (Primary and Community services) having previously worked in local government both as an associate for the LGIU and in policy, strategy and innovation at Buckinghamshire County Council. Prior to that Danielle worked in the private sector managing large operational areas and transformation. Danielle will be focussed on expanding IHPN’s policy and research output. Please contact Danielle at [email protected].

John Hopgood, Head of Policy (Acute care)

John Hopgood joined IHPN in April 2021 as our Head of Policy (Acute care) having previously worked in policy and research in local government, British Society for Rheumatology and The Tech Partnership. John will be focused on developing and delivering a programme of policy work for IHPN members focusing particularly on the delivery of acute care including both outpatient and inpatient hospital treatment. Please contact John at [email protected].

Sejal Patel, Business Operations Manager

Sejal leads IHPN’s business management team, overseeing the organisation’s day to day administrative and operational functions. Sejal supports the team and works on IHPN’s member communications, which includes updating our website and editing our monthly e-newsletter. Sejal is also the first point of contact for members and external enquiries. Please contact Sejal at [email protected]. 

Megan Cleaver, Senior External Affairs Manager

Megan Cleaver is the Senior External Affairs Manager at IHPN. Megan leads IHPN’s public affairs, media and communications work. Please contact Megan at [email protected].

Akeel Ahmed, Business Operations Manager (Interim)

Akeel is a member of IHPN’s business management team and supports the day to day running of the organisation, assisting with forums and sector-groups, meetings and events, IHPN membership and the management of the Chief Executive’s diary. Please contact Akeel at [email protected].


Please contact our Senior External Affairs Manager Megan Cleaver for all media enquiries at [email protected] or 07789 867 919.