Chief Scientific Officer, Sue Hill – biography

Professor Sue Hill OBE PhD DSc CBiol FSB Hon FRCP trained as a clinical physiologist. Sue gained a PhD in Respiratory Sciences having undertaken a programme of basic science research into the pathogenesis of chronic lung disease at the University of Birmingham.

Sue has worked for most of her career in the NHS and academia at University Hospital Birmingham and at the University of Birmingham, where in 2002 she was awarded a personal chair in Respiratory Medicine. She held a wide range of clinical, managerial and research responsibilities, published and presented widely and had extensive involvement in a number of regional, national and international professional activities and learned societies with a major impact in Respiratory Medicine & Care, Respiratory Measurement and in Healthcare Science.

Sue was appointed Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health in 2002 and is the professional head of the 50,000 strong healthcare science workforce in the NHS and related organisations. This includes more than 45 specialist fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related to health. She has a range of policy responsibilities across diagnostics and scientific services.

Sue is the National Director of the Audiology and Physiological Diagnostics programme, the DH Science and Society Lead, the joint National Clinical Director for Respiratory Disease, the Senior Responsible Officer for the Home Oxygen Service programme and has overall responsibility for the UK Modernising Scientific Careers programme.

She provides advice to ministers and senior government officials and leads on, or contributes to, the development of policy and other initiatives. A significant part of her job involves working across government, with the NHS and a wide range of other external stakeholders to deliver strategic change for patient benefit.  For example, new and innovative ways of working and modernised education and training. This also includes the adoption of new technologies across the service, improving the quality and evidence base of diagnostic and clinical services and raising the profile and importance of science and innovation in health.

In 2005, Sue received an OBE for her services to healthcare science and has been awarded DScs from six Universities in England. In 2002, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Biology (formerly the Institute of Biology) and in 2010 with honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (following honorary membership in 2005) in recognition of her work in raising standards and promoting partnerships between scientists and physicians.

Sue is a Vice President of the British Lung Foundation, having had a long association with the charity since its inception in the early 80s.


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