Seema Kennedy OBE to be new chair of IHPN

We are delighted to announce today that Seema Kennedy OBE, a former MP and Government Minister, will be the new chair of IHPN.

Seema, who replaces Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford, is a former Conservative Member of Parliament, who served as a Government Minister under Theresa May’s premiership, as Immigration Minister and Public Health Minister.

Before that she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister between 2017 and 2019, responsible for relations between MPs and Downing Street during the Brexit negotiations.

While Member of Parliament for South Ribble in Lancashire, Seema co-chaired the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission and was Vice-Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council.

Prior to her election to Parliament, she worked as a lawyer in the City with involvement on projects including the Emirates Stadium and St Bart’s Hospital before becoming Director of a commercial property business in the North West of England.

After leaving frontline politics she has held a variety of Executive and Non Executive board positions, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

A graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge and the Sorbonne, Seema is married to an army officer and has three children and two step children.

Seema said: “I am delighted to be taking up this role, joining such an important and highly-regarded organisation at a pivotal time in its development, advocating for a sector which continues to deliver world class care to ever growing numbers of NHS and private patients.

“Healthcare professionals in the independent sector have played a vital role in recent years.  They’ve supported the health of the nation through the pandemic, and now, often working in partnership with the NHS, are leading the way during a challenging period of recovery.

“I will play my part to ensure our members and their staff continue to play an essential role in tackling care backlogs and that NHS and private patients are able to access timely, high quality care.”

“I’d like to thank Lord Patel for everything he has done to represent the sector in the past three years, and I look forward to building on the strong foundations that he and other directors have laid.”

David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:  

“I am delighted that Seema will be joining IHPN. She has a wealth of experience in the commercial and political worlds and a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities which face the sector and our members.

“I know she already appreciates the huge commitment and progress we have seen in the independent healthcare sector in the past few years, especially the improvements in quality and safety and clinical governance which colleagues have delivered. 

“I look forward to working with her in the coming years and am certain she will bring insight, drive and challenge to help us grow and develop even further.”