Keynote speakers announced for #iLINKS17!

We are delighted to confirm that the following keynote speakers will be presenting at this year's iLINKS Innovations conference and exhibition. 

David Allison, Chief Executive, Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


David Allison

Chief Executive, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

David Allison joined Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Executive on 2 April 2012 having formerly worked as Chief Operating Officer for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

David has a degree in Physics, is qualified as a chartered engineer and chartered director with over 25 years’ experience in both public and private sectors. Being a member of the NHS North West Leadership Academy Board allows David to influence and enact change for effective leadership. During his time at the Trust, and in collaboration with Cerner, David has led the way in innovation and technology. The Trust is one of the most digitised NHS organisations in the country and is at the forefront of population health management.

David works closely with health partners on implementing the recommendations from the Lord Carter Review through the work of the model hospital and is developing a strategic estates partnership to maximise the use of the Trust’s estate.

Dr Simon Bowers, GP, Vice Chair and Clinical IM&T Lead, Liverpool CCG    

Dr Simon Bowers

GP, Vice Chair and Clinical IM&T Lead, Liverpool CCG

Simon graduated from Liverpool Medical School in 1998 and trained in Mersey Deanery. He works as a General Practitioner in south Liverpool and is the Vice Clinical-Chair of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and clinical lead for digital care and innovation.

 Aidan Kehoe, Chief Executive, Royal Liverool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust    

Aidan Kehoe

Chief Executive, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

Aidan is a Qualified Chartered Accountant having trained with KPMG in Birmingham.

He started his career with the National Health Service as a Management Trainee and has over 20 years’ experience as an NHS Manager, having worked in Trusts at Salisbury, Bournemouth, Birmingham, Salford and Blackpool.​

Andy Kinnear, Director of Digital Transformation for South, Central and West CSU    

Andy Kinnear

Director of Digital Transformation for South, Central and West CSU

Andy Kinnear is an experienced Chief Information Officer (CIO) in his 25th year with the NHS. He has a successful track record of delivering information and technology strategy and solutions and a wholehearted commitment to improving the health and care system.

Andy has 4 roles. Substantively he is the Director of Digital Transformation for South, Central and West CSU looking after the delivery of 200+ digital projects to NHS organisations across the South of England. He is also the Programme Director for Connecting Care, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire interoperability programme. Connecting Care is a partnership of 17 organisations in the West Country and has successfully created a single shared record combining data from GP Practices, Community Services, Local Authorities, Acute Hospitals and Out-of-Hours services. Connecting Care is recognised as one of the leading integrated digital care record (IDCR) programmes in the country.

In his 3rd role, Andy is also currently seconded 2 days per week as Local Delivery Advisor for NHS Digital advising them on Health and Social Care Integration and is working closely with national Health and Care agencies on the development of the integration strategy. This roadmap will seek to outline the stages to deliver fully integrated care records, an ambition laid out in the Five Year Forward View and Personalised Health and Care 2020.

Finally, in April 2016 Andy took on the role of Chair of the BCS Health and Care Executive hoping to help develop the professionalization agenda for CIO and CCIO colleagues.

Andy is a keen advocate of the benefits an integrated care records can bring at the point of care, but moreover understands and actively promotes the secondary use of this data to support the improvement of services.

Andy is a member of the national CIO network and was elected to the CIO Advisory Panel in June 2016. He works closely with colleagues on the development of the informatics profession within health and social care. He is an experienced public speaker and routinely presents at national conferences on health and care information topics.

Dr Joe McDonald, Director, Connected Cities - North East and North Cumbria (The Great North Care Record)     

Dr Joe McDonald

Director of Connected Health Cities  - North East and North Cumbria (The Great North Care Record), Chairman of the CCIO National Network and CCIO at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Dr Joe McDonald is the Director of Connected Health Cities - North East and North Cumbria, Chairman of National CCIO Network, Practicing Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, England's largest Mental Health Trust. 

Joe has been campaigning and trying to measure better quality mental health services for 30 years and is a former NHS Trust Medical Director and National Clinical Lead for IT.

A clinical engagement specialist with a track record of engaging clinicians in difficult circumstances, Joe has a special interest is the usability of clinical software and owns and has provided consultancy services to some of the largest health IT companies in the world.

Joe is currently the UK's most widely read Health IT columnist for Joe's View ( and is a founding member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, and the Founding chairman of the National Mental Health Informatics Network.

An experienced Caldicott Guardian and accredited Clinical Safety Officer, Joe has worked as an inspector for the Commission for Health Improvement since its foundation in 1999 and successor organisations, CHAI, Healthcare Commission and CQC. He is also the founding Director of the NHS Open Source Software Foundation, Apperta.

 Dr Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust    

Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Prior to becoming Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust in 2012, Joe was Director of Commissioning Support at the NHS Commissioning Board, having national responsibility for the design and delivery of a significant component of the Liberating the NHS commissioning reforms.

Before this, Joe was seconded from his Chief Executive role at NHS Central Lancashire to become Director of Commissioning Development for NHS North West, leading the development of commissioning reforms across the region.

Other Board level roles included Chief Executive of NHS Central Lancashire, Regional Director of Commissioning & Strategy for NHS North West, Executive Director of Strategy for NHS North West, Executive Director of Performance in Cumbria & Lancashire SHA and Director of System Reform at Bolton Hospital NHS Trust.

He was recently named number 9 in the HSJ Top 50 Chief Executives Awards list and included in the HSJ’s list of 100 most influential people in health.

Joe has been championing Expert by Experience as a major driver for transformation.

Before joining the NHS, Joe had a successful career in cancer research, publishing over 50 Peer reviewed publications.

UPDATE PLEASE NOTE: Dr David Fearnley, Medical Director at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust will be speaking in place of Joe Rafferty.

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust    

Louise Shepherd CBE

Chief Executive, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

Louise joined Alder Hey in March 2008, having previously been Chief Executive at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and has since led the Trust through to achieve Foundation Trust status and the development of a brand new £¼bn Children’s Hospital/Research and Innovative Institutes which were opened in the Autumn of 2015.

In April 2016, Louie was asked to lead the development and delivery of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Cheshire and Merseyside, which has 40 Providers, CCGs and Local Authorities serving a population of 2.5 million people.

A Cambridge University graduate, Louise first joined the health service in 1993 as Director of Business Development at Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust having spent four years with KPMG as a financial and management consultant to the public sector. Louise is very active in Liverpool outside of the health service; she was previously vice chair of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and is a playing member of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra.

Matthew Swindells, National Director (Operations and Information), NHS England    

Matthew Swindells 

National Director - Operations and Information, NHS England

Matthew joined NHS England in May 2016 from the Cerner Group, where he was Senior Vice President for Population Health and Global Strategy. He is responsible for national performance of the NHS against the NHS Constitution Standards, assurance of Clinical Commissioning Groups, achieving digital transformation, and information and technology programmes.

He has over 25 years’ experience in health care services, and has worked in the Department of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office of Public Service Reform.

Matthew began his career at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital in the early 1990s, and went on to become Director of Clinical Services of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital and later Chief Executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

He is visiting professor and chair of the advisory committee in the School of Health Management at the University of Surrey and Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Population Health Management.