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Mark Ireland appointed as new NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow

Posted: 12th June 2018

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network welcome and congratulate Mark Ireland on being appointed as new NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow.

Mark Ireland is Director of Pharmacy Contract and Project Development for Boots UK and replaces Malcolm Harrison as the representative Fellow for the Severe Sore Throat Test-and-Treat (SSTTT) innovation. Malcolm steps down from the NIA after leaving his position at Boots UK to take up the Chief Executive role at the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA).

After being nominated by Boots UK to continue as the representative Fellow for the SSTTT, Mark applied and was interviewed by a panel comprising current Fellows, AHSN partners, patient reps and Programme Manager Laura Boyd, before being formally invited to join the NIA.

Mark said: “I am delighted to join the nationally recognised NHS Innovation Accelerator, and to continue Malcolm’s work in spreading Severe Sore Throat Test-and-Treat across England. It is great news that from September this year, the service will be commissioned from 70 pharmacies in Wales, benefiting patients and the population, but also helping to divert demand from GPs and ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics. The peer-to-peer network of the NIA is incredibly valuable, and I look forward to sharing experiences and learnings with the other Fellows.”

Laura Boyd commented: “Mark’s clear passion and dedication for spreading the Severe Sore Throat Test-and-Treat for the benefit of patients, makes him an ideal candidate for the NIA. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we are excited to welcome him to the programme.”

Mark completed his preregistration training at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital. In 1996, he joined Moss Pharmacy as pharmacy manager in the rural area of Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire. He went on to have a variety of roles in Alliance Pharmacy (formerly Moss Pharmacy) including professional training and Area Manager for the Isle of Wight, New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth.

He then worked in a number of international business development roles for Alliance UniChem, looking at pharmacy development and acquisitions in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy. Following the merger with Boots in 2006, Mark was appointed Head of Strategy Development for Boots.

He took up his current role as Director of Pharmacy Contract and Project Development in Boots UK in 2009, working to support the development of the community pharmacy contracts and the introduction of new pharmacy services in the UK. This involves overseeing work to evaluate and measure the value to patients, other healthcare professionals and health economies of these services through his team’s partnerships with academics that lead to evidence being published.

Mark holds a Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy and an MBA in retailing. He’s a committee member for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee and sits on the board of Community Pharmacy Wales as a nominee of the CCA. Mark also sits on the External Advisory Board to the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia.

More information about Severe Sore Throat Test-and-Treat is available here.

For more information about the NHS Innovation Accelerator and its current Fellows, visit