Healthwatch England has appointed a charity sector communications chief as its new national director.
The appointment follows Imelda Redmond announcing she was standing down this month after five years in the role.
Louise Ansari, who will take up the position on 14 February, has been director of communications and influencing at charitable foundation Centre for Ageing Better for the past five years.
She is also lay member for patient and public engagement on the governing body for East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group. Previous significant roles she has held include senior leadership roles at Diabetes UK and Lambeth Council. She has also worked as a media specialist at Which? Magazine, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Education Authority.
Ms Ansari pledged to “help tackle the challenges the NHS faces, reduce health inequalities” and “deliver the better care we all want to see”.
She added in a statement: “I feel privileged to have been appointed Healthwatch England’s national director. I am passionate about and committed to ensuring that those who are most disadvantaged are heard across every level of health and care.
“Healthwatch’s unique position to listen and champion people’s voices in health and care will be more important than ever as services recover from the pandemic and start to tackle the health inequalities that covid-19 has starkly highlighted.”
Healthwatch England chair Robert Francis said: “I’m thrilled to be welcoming Louise as our national director. Her vast experience across communications, policy, evidence and health programmes, combined with her ability to identify opportunities to help create social change, will build on what we have achieved over the last four years.”