The Private Healthcare Information Network: Claire Whyley and Keith Richards

Claire Whyley and Keith Richards

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has appointed Claire Whyley and Keith Richards, as new members of its independent board of directors.

Both were nominated by the Competition and Markets Authority in-line with PHIN’s governance as required under the Private Healthcare Investigation Order 2014.

Whyley is a professional researcher, policy analyst and consumer advocate, with a focus on consumer behaviour and decision-making, consumer protection and consumer-focused regulation. She specialises in policy development across a range of markets, with a particular interest in vulnerable and excluded consumers. She has delivered a wide range of projects aiming to support organisations in putting consumers at the heart of their processes and business planning.

Whyley has several non-executive roles including a CMA Panel, the Finance and Leasing Association Lending Code Board, the WATRS Independent Panel and the Pay UK End User Advisory Council. She was previously senior research fellow at the Personal Finance Research Centre, head of research and policy at the Welsh Consumer Council and deputy director of policy at the National Consumer Council.

Whyley said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help people better understand the healthcare sector and make well-informed choices about private healthcare. PHIN’s work offers a unique opportunity to support patient-focused improvement across the whole healthcare landscape and I’m excited to join the PHIN board and help the organisation achieve its objectives.”

Richards is a barrister, arbitrator and accredited mediator. He has been an independent member and non-executive director on regulatory bodies in a variety of sectors and specialises in professional/industry self-regulation, equality diversity and inclusion, consumer rights, dispute resolution and redress. He set up the Consumer Panel at the Civil Aviation Authority and was its chair for six years until 2017.

He is a board member at the consumer watchdog Transport Focus, chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee at the Department for Transport, an independent member of the General Chiropractic Council, a panel member at the Competition and Markets Authority, and also a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel at the Financial Conduct Authority.

Richards said: “It is exciting to join the PHIN board at this very important time. And it’s a privilege to be able to help PHIN deliver transparent, accessible, easy-to-use and meaningful information about quality, performance and costs in the private sector. This will give people the ability to make well-informed choices about their healthcare decisions – decisions that in turn will drive improvements across the sector. I am very much looking forward to working with Claire, new colleagues and the wider PHIN team to deliver for patients.”

Jayne Scott, chair of PHIN’s board, added: “As an independent, not-for-profit, organisation working with the private healthcare industry on behalf of patients, having a balanced and independent approach to governance is very important.

“We are very pleased to welcome Keith and Claire to the PHIN board and greatly value the patient and consumer expertise and experience that they bring.”

There are 10 non-executive directors on the PHIN board. Five of whom are nominated: one by providers, one by consultants, one by the private medical insurers, and two by the Competition and Markets Authority.

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