Roland Sinker, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, is to join NHS England as an unpaid national director.

The CUH chief executive will advise the NHSE leadership team, including Dr Tim Ferris and NHSE CEO Amanda Prichard, on how to effectively partner with the life sciences industry.

Tim Ferris, NHSE’s national director for digital transformation, announced the news late last week in an internal email, which stated:

“Roland will be supporting and advising Amanda, myself and the wider Executive group, on how NHSE can best work with our partners in industry, academia and patient groups to unlock even greater opportunities in the life sciences space.”

Sinker has been chief executive of CUH since November 2016 having previously been acting CEO at Kings College Hospital.

Sinker is also the former head of the elite Shelford Group of Hospitals and a member of the Government’s Life Science’s Council.

Ferris added that Sinker will lead engagement with the NHS and other partners on how to put NHS patients “at the front of the global queue for more effective and personalised tests, treatments and therapies, making England among the best places to undertake clinical research and thereby making a significant contribution to economic growth”.

The NHSE director of transformation said that Sinker would bring his experience from both CUH and the wider Cambridge Life Sciences eco-system “including building close working relationships with the health and care system, wider industry and with our universities”.

The appointment is the second trust chief executive to join NHSE’s transformation directorate alongside their day job.

In January NHSE appointed Joe Harrison, CEO of Milton Keynes Hospitals, to work part-time as national director digital channels.