Posts by: Eimear Galvin

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD opens second Health Innovation Hub Ireland in Dublin

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Thursday, October 4: Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, today continued the Health Innovation Hub Ireland growth story by opening the second office in the national network, based at St James Hospital partnered with Trinity College Dublin. Minister of State Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, joined Minister Harris at the opening.

First launched by Minister Harris in Cork in 2016, Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) is establishing Ireland as a leading location for start-ups and expanding healthcare companies, by allowing easy interaction with hospitals and primary care centres. Collaboration between the health service and enterprise, is leading to the development of new Irish healthcare technologies, products, and services.

The official opening of a second HIHI in Dublin, with another to come in Galway marks a period of strong growth for HIHI:

  • Since 2016, HIHI has managed 200 company engagements, ran 25 studies in Irish healthcare settings, 72 companies receiving follow up support through HIHI.
  • 46 % increase in applications to the HHI national call aimed at companies, start-ups, SMEs (2016: 45 applicants, Vs 2018: 66 applicants.)
  • One location, to three in 2018 (Cork, Dublin, Galway).
  • Staff more than trebled – four to 15, across the country.

HIHI, established by Department of Business, Enterprise, Innovation, and the Department of Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Health Service Executive (HSE). As a unique joint government initiative, HIHI offers companies the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and the health service access to innovative products, services, devices. HIHI works to impact Irish business and Irish healthcare in three key areas.

1. Industry: Acting as a broker, HIHI matches companies with relevant clinical teams, overseeing a study of each product in an Irish clinical setting.

2. Healthcare: HIHI is an open door to all healthcare staff to assess ideas to solutions they have encountered in their work. HIHI acts as mentors and advises on taking an idea and developing it into a service or product.

3. Education: Delivering a series of five HIHI workshops and a diploma in healthcare innovation, HIHI is embedding an innovation culture in Irish healthcare.

Minister for Health Simon Harris, TD, said:

“I am delighted to be launching the new Dublin office of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland here in St. James Hospital today. The Hub is important because it aims to foster a unique partnership between the health service and the enterprise sector that will improve healthcare and outcomes for patients.

“The innovative ideas will not only come from enterprise – I am pleased to say they will also emerge from within the health service, and I want to encourage people working in healthcare to take part and make proposals.  I am confident the development of the Hub has huge potential that can, ultimately, greatly benefit patient care.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said:

I’m very pleased with the work the Hub is doing to provide innovative enterprises with the support they need to gain access to the Irish healthcare system. This will afford them the opportunity to develop and test their new healthcare technologies, products, and services, which will in turn help to create Irish jobs and exports.”

“I am delighted to announce the launch of HIHI’s new education programme. Through a series of five workshops, over 12 months – HSE and voluntary hospital staff will gain the tools to experiment, think and propose solutions to the questions and challenges we face today and into the future. Healthcare professionals, across all disciplines and grades, can visit the Hub’s website today, and enrol for the first workshop due to take place here in St James’ Hospital. I encourage them to do so.”

Announced at the opening were details of the HIHI educational programme, designed to build a sustainable culture of improvement and innovation in the Irish health system and enrolment was opened for the first of a series of five workshops here

HIHI Principal Investigator, Dublin, Prof Seamas Donnelly, said:

“We are proud that HIHI is establishing Ireland as a leading location for start-ups and expanding healthcare companies, allowing easy interaction with hospitals and primary care centres. But we also want to create a sustainable culture of innovation within the Irish healthcare system so we need to reach the frontline.

“The HIHI education programmes, announced today are designed specifically for clinical staff – to empower problem solvers and convert thinking into action. People who participate in these programmes then become catalysts for innovation within the health system. The overall aim is to embed ambassadors of innovation within the healthcare sector and build a national network of alumni who will foster an internal ecosystem of entrepreneurship within the HSE.”

Operationally HIHI is a partnership of clinical and academic centres from across the country. HIHI works directly with three hospital groups (South/South West, Dublin Midlands and Saolta in the West/North West), but the HIHI network can access all acute and community hospitals, pharmacies, primary care centres and healthcare centres. Academic partners are UCC and CIT, TCD and NUI Galway respectively. HIHI operates an open door policy, across its national network, to both industry and healthcare.

Over 40 per cent increase in HIHI double national call applications

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In June we launched a national call – both focussed and open – to Irish industry. The open call was aimed at companies, start-ups, SMEs, who have innovative products or services that are at pre-commercial, demonstration or late development phase and have the potential to significantly impact healthcare. Our partner, the HSE, highlighted a strategic need for the health service in the focussed call – ‘Enabling positive ageing’.

The call closed at the end of August and we can now share that we have seen a 40 per cent increase in HIHI national call applications.

  • Total applications were up to 66, from 45 in 2016.
  • Focused call applicants more than doubled this year when compared to 2016, from 28 to 12.
  •   Open call also increased, from 33 applications in 2016 to 38 this year.

Next is stage two, where successful applicants are invited to a rigorous competitive pitch process, with representatives from Enterprise Ireland, HSE, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and other influencers that they would not ordinarily have direct access to.

At stage three, we acts as a broker, matching companies with relevant clinical teams, overseeing a study of each product in a real life Irish clinical setting.

Watch this space!

Calling all health professionals: HIHI and IGNITE 2018 launches in Galway

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This September, Health Innovation Hub Ireland will launch IGNITE 2018 with partners HSE NDTP, National Doctors Training and Planning, Saolta University Healthcare Group & ICAPPS, Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation. IGNITE 2018 is a competition aimed at people working in healthcare in the West or Ireland, where individuals or teams can submit innovative ideas and have an opportunity to engage with experts in innovation.

A mentoring forum for healthcare staff to develop early stage ideas and potential solutions. The best applicants will be brought together for a Dragon’s Den style pitch on 29, November 2018, and the winners and runners-up will receive a bursary to develop their idea in collaboration with Health Innovation Hub Ireland. An IGNITE 2018 information session will be held on Thursday, 27 September at 5pm in the Clinical Science Institute at University Hospital Galway.


We are hiring! HIHI Galway is looking for a lead to manage innovation from those within the healthcare community.

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Job Description:

Have you worked in Medtech? Do you have a passion for innovation and want to work to improve our healthcare system for patients and healthcare workers? Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) is a new initiative which seeks to foster innovation from within the Irish health service. It also provides the medtech industry with better access to the healthcare system to develop and test their technologies.

HIHI has recently opened an office in Galway and is seeking candidates to lead their ‘Innovation Out of Healthcare’ activities at a national level. They will work closely with healthcare professionals from across a diverse range of disciplines to review, mentor and progress new projects based on unmet clinical needs. They will be a strategic thinker, capable of influencing key stakeholders to develop and execute the ‘Innovation Out’ programme to meet targets and deliver impact. Previous experience of the healthcare/medtech startup sector will be advantageous along with a firm understanding of the technical, commercial and clinical factors that may impact on the commercialisation of new solutions.

This role offers an exciting opportunity for someone looking for a new challenge and to join a focused team working at the frontline of medtech innovation. HIHI is a highly collaborative environment with team-members based in Galway, Cork and Dublin who work closely with HSE hospital groups (including the Saolta University Healthcare Group in the West) and community care services. Our stakeholders include Enterprise Ireland, the HSE, partner academic institutions, Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs), hospital groups, patient groups and industry. Further detail at


  • Lead Health Innovation Hub Ireland “Innovation Out” healthcare projects to achieve goal of developing new technologies or process improvements based on problems identified from within the Irish Healthcare System.
  • Develop and roll-out an HIHI Innovation Out strategy at a national level.
  • Assist academic partners with conducting research projects within the School of Medicine.
  • Conduct thorough technical and commercial research to evaluate proposed solutions, identifying risks and path forward.
  • Develop and deliver an innovation training strategy and roadshows across hospital and primary care locations.
  • Work with clinicians and HSE staff to identify and investigate opportunities for innovation.
  • Design tools and methodologies that streamline the Innovation Out evaluation process.
  • Support HIHI clients to identify suitable funding sources for their projects.
  • Collaborate with CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Medical Devices, the NUI Galway Translational Medical Device Lab, the Innovation Office (TTO) at NUI Galway, BioInnovate Ireland (national medtech innovation training), GMIT Innovation Hubs and Gmedtech.
  • Lead all reporting and management requirements related to the post.
  • Provide advice on data protection issues and uphold data protection best practice in all HIHI activities.
  • Provide input in the form of planning, de-risking, etc. for new HIHI projects.
  • Play a leading role on behalf of Health Innovation Hub Ireland in regional, national/international collaborative research projects and contribute to increasing the levels of funding within the School of Medicine.

    Qualifications/Skills required:

    Essential requirements:

  • Significant experience working in the medical device/healthcare area with experience of working with different clinical indications in a research, technical or commercial role.
  • PhD role or equivalent experience in medical device/healthcare area.
  • Previous experience working in a role to deliver impact / change based on strategic planning.
  • Experience in influencing stakeholders to drive policies and lead new initiatives.
  • Previous experience of working with innovative technologies (in a research, technical or commercial role) including knowledge of the product development and commercialisation process for new medtech technologies.
  • Project management experience including planning and resource management in new medtech focused projects.
  • A clear understanding of how to evaluate research projects in the healthcare area and new medtech opportunities.
  • Experienced in developing plans to de-risk and progress new medtech innovation projects.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and presentation skills.

Desirable requirements:     

  • Previous experience of working with healthcare professionals/clinicians to identity unmet clinical needs and opportunities for new technology development.
  • Knowledge and experience of using structured methodologies to evaluate new medical device technologies to determine technical feasibility and commercial viability.
  • Worked on projects to develop new device from early concepts through to transfer to production and market release.
  • Detailed understanding of investor requirements for funding of med-tech start-ups, e.g. IP, market opportunity, etc.
  • Previous experience of leading early medical device technology projects forward to seed funding.
  • Previous experience of working (in a technical or commercial role) on product development projects with an understanding of associated processes required for medical device regulatory approval.
  • Previous experience of working across academic, clinical and industry sectors.
  • Knowledge of funding streams for innovation projects in research and/or industry.

Salary:  EUR €63,125 (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply).  This is a full time position.

Start date: Position is available from 1st October 2018

For informal enquiries about this post, please contact Aisling Dolan (

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway.

For information on moving to Ireland please see

NB: Gárda vetting is a requirement for this post

To Apply:

Applications to include a covering letter, CV,and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Aisling Dolan (

Please put reference number NUIG-158-18 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm Monday 10th September 2018 

Interviews will take place week of 17th September 2018.

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment

Full detail here


Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD: “we want to see proposals that involve collaboration between industry, research bodies and the public sector.”

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Calling all innovators in  AI, robotics, smart food production, and health and wellbeing – opportunity now open to compete for a share of a new €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF).

The Department presented an overview of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) including eligibility criteria, application process and key considerations for applicants at the DTIF information event in Enterprise Ireland on 27 July 2018.

Type of Projects Eligible for Funding

€500 million is available for co-funded projects involving enterprises and research partners over the period to 2027. The first Call relates to projects that will be funded from 2019. Projects can be funded for up to 3 years. It is envisaged that the first tranche of successful projects will be confirmed by November 2018.

The type of projects that will receive funding will be:

  • Collaborative enterprise-driven partnerships that will develop, deploy and commercialise disruptive technologies to transform business
  • Impactful projects seeking at least €1 million in funding over 3 years and involving enterprises and research partners
  • SME participation is an essential requirement in every consortium
  • Focussed on “industrial research”.

The National Development Plan (NDP) under Project Ireland 2040 confirms the establishment of a €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) that will:

  • Be implemented through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) and its agencies, working with other Government Departments and agencies;
  • Have a resource allocation of €0.5bn over the period 2018-2027 consisting of an initial Exchequer allocation of €180 million to 2022;
  • Be competitive and see investment in the research, development and deployment of disruptive technologies and applications on a commercial basis;Drive collaboration between Ireland’s world-class research base and industry as well as facilitating enterprises to compete directly for funding in support of the development and adoption of these technologies.

How to Apply

Potential applicants should read the Reference Document for Applicants carefully to ascertain whether or not they are eligible to apply and whether or not their proposed projects fit the criteria set out.

All applicants must complete and submit the Expression of Interest Form by email only to by 15.00 on 17 August 2018.

Failure to submit an expression of interest on the DTIF EOI Template, will render that EOI ineligible.


EIT Health opportunity | Train the trainer: emerging competencies for senior healthcare managers

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The “Train the Healthcare Manager Trainer” is a three-day programme for developing teacher capabilities on emerging competencies for senior healthcare managers from Karolinska Institute, IESE Business School, University of Grenoble-Alpes, University of Gent and Medical University of Lodz.

Target participants: This programme is addressed to programme directors and trainers of healthcare senior managers, and executives. Trainers may be professors, educators, lecturers, or even healthcare professionals and managers that teach in management, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship to healthcare managers and executives (maybe as a part-time / secondary activity).

The programme will be divided into two editions, each of which will include:

  • Presentations and debates on the healthcare management scenario in Europe (new leadership, dealing with complexity, the role of the manager)
  • Presentations and debates on case methods and innovative learning methods for healthcare executives.
  • Presenting and teaching new free materials for teaching emerging competencies to healthcare senior managers and executives in Europe.

Edition 1 –  24-26 October 2018, in Stockholm, Sweden. (register by 31 July)

Edition 2 – 28-30 November 2018, in Barcelona, Spain.

Attendance is free, though travel will be at the participants’ expense. More details here

HIHI in Galway feature in Saolta newsletter

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HSE, the Saolta University Health Care Group and NUI Galway are happy to announce that Health Innovation Hub Ireland are now based in the West. Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) works across the health sector and with Irish businesses to solve challenges in healthcare.
Commenting, Aisling Dolan, Manager of the new office said

‘We are delighted our new office will open here in September 2018 on the ground floor of the Lambe Translational Institute for Research and beside the Clinical Research Facility (CRF). We have a team in place and will be running IGNITE Innovation 2018 aimed at HSE staff here and Innovation Into Healthcare focused and open calls for start-ups and SMEs. We have an open door policy to anyone with an idea to improve patient care – so drop by and meet our team’.

I am working in the HSE here in Galway and I have a great idea, what do I do next?

IGNITE 2018 is a competition where individuals or teams can submit innovative ideas and have an opportunity to engage with experts in innovation. The best applicants will be brought together for a dragon’s den style pitch on 6th December, winners and 5 runners-up will receive a bursary to develop their idea in collaboration with Health Innovation Hub Ireland. A follow-on from the success of Neurotransmitter 2017, IGNITE 2018 will launch in September, this is open to people working in Healthcare in the West of Ireland.

Health Innovation Hub will join with partners HSE NDTP (National Doctors Training & Planning), the Spark Innovation Programme and Dr Dara Byrne, Intern Co-Ordinator NUI Galway/West Northwest (WNW) Intern Training Network and Director of Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation (ICAPPS) NUI Galway and to deliver this programme to healthcare providers in the West.

Dr Dara Byrne highlighted ‘We are excited to work with our partners in the Hub and the HSE to build on the success of Neurotransmitter with IGNITE 2018. This is a chance to submit your own idea or to work with a team, to build your innovation skills and to compete in a pitch event’ and Aisling emphasized ‘We will be promoting this programme over the next few months and with such a high interest in this programme – Health Innovation Hub Ireland and the HSE are hoping to expand this further to Cork and Dublin in 2019’.
How do I get in touch?

Come talk to our team and follow us on Twitter to find out about our upcoming events @hihireland.
Aisling Dolan, Manager, Galway, Health Innovation Hub Ireland,
Dr Diana Hogan-Murphy, Senior Antimicrobial Pharmacist, HSE & HIHI Clinical Co-ordinator
Dr Jimmy Eaton-Evans, Technology Evaluator, Health Innovation Hub Ireland

If we can’t change how we work in the system, the system simply won’t change.

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In Ireland today we have nine of the global top ten pharma companies and 18 of the top 25 medical device companies. Lesser known, is that we have 300 indigenous health tech companies, about 15 for each of the global.  So for every one of the big players, we have around 15 innovative indigenous enterprises. Critical Healthcare has developed a product, MediQuilt, the first-ever re-usable trolley Quilt and disposable cover a risk free cost effective solution. TickerFit, allows healthcare professionals to effectively prescribe and monitor lifestyle intervention using a web based application and passive monitoring using smartphone or wearable devices.

The exciting thing for us here working in the healthcare sector, is that Ireland is ideally placed to be a world leader in the provision of total connected health solutions. We have a highly networked ecosystem and the industry expertise required to embrace the convergence between health and the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the future of healthcare globally.

Conversely, the difficulty for us here in the Irish healthcare system is harnessing this innovation. It takes time to embrace the future and most of the medical community in this country is trying to maintain balance in our present system. No easy feat. The total spend on healthcare here is among the highest in the OECD. While our health outcomes – what we get for spending money – tends to be comparatively poor. Money, it seems is not the only answer, so in a system under immense pressure what can we do differently?

Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) was established by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to drive collaboration between the health service and enterprise. It offers companies the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and the health service access to innovative products, services and devices that they may not otherwise be exposed to.

HIHI is built on the recognition that collaboration with enterprise can benefit patient care, patient pathways and outcomes. A simple example is that of ViClarity. Originally designed for the financial services industry, ViClarity has a tool that monitors compliance with regulatory standards. In late 2016, ViClarity engaged with HIHI to define a pilot study in Killarney Community Hospital. The study was driven by the desire to improve on the manual auditing and compliance measurements, within the hospital.

The HIHI study ran for a period of three months. Following onsite training by ViClarity the study was implemented across four units within the Killarney Community Hospital. The traditional paper based audits were built into system workflow and automated. The workflow was then delegated to the relevant staff members within the hospital. Staff used the ViClarity tool to complete audits, gather audit data and input this directly into the system.

Through the HIHI study, Killarney Community Hospital used ViClarity to transform from a time consuming paper based system to computer based auditing. This means instant results, immediate compliance status visibility and ownership of audit responsibilities.

There were at least 124 hours saved in admin time for the hospital through using the computer based system. Time that can potentially be spent on patient care.

For ViClarity, HIHI secured their first clinical pilot in a public hospital. The company continues to leverage the overwhelmingly positive results of the HIHI study both in the domestic and international markets, when making the ViClarity pitch. It has secured a high profile client base with healthcare companies such as Mowlam, MHA and most recently the NHS began using its technology solution.

One of the most reassuring services offered to hospitals by HIHI is the management process we deliver, through which companies’ engage with the health system. Once we have matched a suitable clinical team with an industry partner and both wish to pursue a study or pilot, we draw up a project scope. This project initiation document, which both parties agree, covers objectives, requirements, responsibilities and timeframe, which we oversee and manage throughout the study or pilot.

HIHI works directly with three hospital groups (South/South West, Dublin Midlands and Saolta in the West/North West), but the HIHI network can access all acute and community hospitals, pharmacies, primary care centres and healthcare centres.

HIHI and its partners, not least among them the HSE, want to look at solutions for the long-term, not just to get by in the short-term. Through HIHI we can all be allies to innovation. If we can’t change how we work in the system, the system simply won’t change.

Dr Colman Casey, HIHI National Director.

Originally published by Health Manager’s Journal:


The Irish healthcare system is in desperate need of new ideas and new solutions

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THE IRISH HEALTHCARE system is in desperate need of new ideas and new solutions to deeply embedded problems.

Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) works across the health sector with Irish businesses to creatively solve problems and improve patient care. Harnessing this innovation, through development of new healthcare technologies, products and services, will help to establish Ireland as a leading location for start-ups and will help to create Irish jobs.

The opportunity to innovate is something that we provide at HIHI. For companies, we connect products with people qualified to test them. For healthcare professionals we provide the support structures to develop ideas that will improve patient care.

HIHI will further support this innovation out with dedicated education programmes available to all HSE staff.

This week HIHI launched a double national call for businesses with new healthcare products. There is a focused call for innovations that address a specific HSE priority theme  – Enabling Positive Aging – and an open call for innovations that address any healthcare need.

The best applicants will be brought together for a Dragon’s Den style pitch in September, with the winning products fast tracked into Ireland’s health service for study. HIHI offers a powerful quid pro quo. For companies it is the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and for the health service it is early access to innovative products and devices.

The total spend on healthcare in Ireland is among the highest in the OECD. Our healthcare outcomes don’t seem to reflect this level of investment. Something has to change.

Of course extra investment would help, but it’s not a panacea. The move worldwide is towards personalised healthcare that empowers the patient. For instance, TickerFit, a previous HIHI company, with a product used in cardiac rehab enables clinical teams to prescribe, educate and monitor a patient’s recovery from a distance through a wearable device.

Broadly speaking, treatments such as this could mean there are less patients attending hospital and more care takes place in the community. This is the direction that we should be taking our health service in and HIHI can help with that.

The HSE faces many pressures including a rapidly ageing population, rising incidence of long-term conditions, increased costs and budget limitations. The HSE recognises that collaboration with enterprise through HIHI can benefit patient care, patient pathways and outcomes. This is why the HSE is directly involved.

The national call is only one of several ways in which HIHI can help reform and improve the Irish healthcare system. HIHI provides an open door for staff from all parts of the health service that have ideas and solutions to problems they encounter in their work.

Anybody can contact us; our door is open in Cork, Galway and Dublin. We assess ideas and concepts for healthcare innovation from all staff – clinical and non-clinical. We act as mentors, and advise on taking an idea and developing it into a service or product.

The most worthwhile innovation in healthcare will come from the frontline. These busy people just need the opportunity and the encouragement to tap into their own expertise.

For many years now Ireland has been losing some of its most creative healthcare entrepreneurs. Places like the Mayo Clinic in the US can offer integrated clinical practice, education and research and embrace new ideas easily. They recognise the value of Irish creativity.

HIHI will do everything possible to keep these innovators and their innovations here in Ireland. We want to drive the HIHI process across the length and breadth of this country. Irish companies should be able to develop successfully within a system that nurtures and grows indigenous enterprise.

HIHI will ensure that the Irish healthcare system will test their products and services and then leverage these new products and services to the benefit of our patients. HIHI has already made significant progress. We have worked with inspiring Irish entrepreneurs in companies such as ViClarity, TickerFit, Critical Care, FastForm, Complete GP – the list goes on.

When you consider the HIHI national call, just take a moment to reflect on the possibilities that an initiative like HIHI brings. Here is an Irish grown, government backed, good news story in health with potential for change that is boundless.

Prof John R Higgins is Principal Investigator Health Innovation Hub Ireland, UCC Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Clinical Director Maternity Directorate South/Southwest Hospital Group.

Originally appeared in