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Professor Simon Brake


Chief Innovation & Engagement Officer, Warwick Medical School

Industrial Professor, Warwick Manufacturing Group

Group Director of Research & Development for SWUFT, GEH & Wye Valley NHS Trusts



Mobile: +44 (0) 7771 762741

Research & Teaching Interests

  • Health System Leadership
  • Health and Social Care Economy Dynamics, Systems and Reform
  • Digital Healthcare & New Technology
  • Primary Care Commissioning and Planning
  • Public Sector Leadership and Management, and Public Value
  • Effective Clinical Leadership Models
  • Health and Social Care Service Reconfiguration


Simon is a senior leader and chief officer working across academic, health service and government fields, having worked in in a variety of roles at local, sub-regional, regional and national levels for over twenty five years. Simon has been qualified since July 1995, having graduated from the University of Warwick, and gained his professional membership of the IHM (the Institute of Healthcare Management) in 1996, appointed a fellow of the IHM (by Assessment) in 2004, and a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the Warwick Business School (2007). In 2008 he gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution Studies from Coventry University, his NHS England Clinical Commissioning Leadership National Accreditation in 2017 and holds academic and visiting professorships at the University of Warwick & Coventry University. Simon has worked in a variety of general and senior management roles across health and social care, within the National Health Service in hospitals, commissioning, and central government policy until 2006, then as a senior officer for Coventry City Council. From 2015, Simon worked as a chief officer working in primary and community care across the NHS and local system, and then as the CCG Chief Officer until 2019. In his current post, since 2019, Simon works as Chief Engagement & Innovation Officer and Professor at the University of Warwick Medical School, and as Group Director for Research & Development for the SWUFT Foundation Group of 4 NHS Trusts. 

In his current role as Chief Engagement & Innovation Officer & Professor at the University of Warwick Medical School, Simon has responsibility for developing new ventures and leading innovation, as well as maintaining and establishing links with the Medical School’s partners across the NHS & Health diaspora and beyond. Simon also leads on teaching for clinical leadership & management for both post and undergraduate teaching at the medical school as well as supporting a range of teaching and research across the wider university. Simon led the establishment of a new Masters in Clinical Leadership programme with our distance learning partners, with several hundred students now enrolled and learning, in addition to a recently commissioned £600,000 system leadership programme for our clinical chief officers across our ICS. Simon led the establishment of SWUFT as a new University Hospital on the UoW’s behalf, leading the university through establishing a new partnership, and is now ensuring as SWUFT’s group director of R&D, that the research and teaching opportunities are exploited as effectively as possible. Simon holds visiting Professorships at the University’s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) IDH, as well as Coventry University’s School of Health & Life Sciences. He teaches & works on a variety of degree courses, university committees, undertaking primary research and publishing, and is the appointed external examiner at both Exeter University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for the MSc courses in Clinical Leadership and Public Health. Simon has previously chaired Serious Case Reviews for local authorities, alongside national work to lead & chair service reviews, most recently as independent chair of Shropshire’s Future Fit and the IMPACT Mental Health service. 

Simon is a member of the Secretary of State’s Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), considering and providing advice to the SoS on proposed NHS service reconfigurations, as well as the post East-Kent Kirkup Review SoS’s DHSC National Maternity & Neonatal Care improvement board. Simon is appointed by the SofS for Defense as the chair of the West Midlands VAPC, leading work across the region to care for our military veterans and their families. He also focuses on leading & exploring new policy directions within the changing landscape of NHS, social care and the broader policy arena, working closely with other public-sector colleagues and is a member of the West Midlands Fire & Rescue Authority as the co-opted Health member. 

In his role as a CCG Chief Officer until 2019, Simon was strategically & managerially responsible for leading the commissioning and planning of health and care services for the local population of 280,000 people, with a commissioning budget of £450m PA, delivering a place-based care/ICP model, taking his CCG from “Inadequate” to “Good” during that period. As part of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency response, Simon has led the transfer and supervision of over 550 University of Warwick medical students in late March 2020 to local hospitals in a nationally groundbreaking programme, leading COVID-19 research and clinical trials, and working within a local hospital as a seconded chief officer. In addition, Simon led the REACT-2 trial site at WMS, supporting Imperial College, and leading and establishing the University's Covid-19 testing service as part of local pillar 1 NHS core services and asymptomatic student testing, and population and student vaccination. Simon was also seconded part time to the DHSC and newly formed UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from the start of 2021 to summer 2023 as Senior Civil Servant to lead the new Rosalind Franklin Ultra High Throughput Test & Trace Laboratory in Strategy, Legacy & Partnerships, supporting future critical national infrastructure and resilience in preparing for future pandemics in the years ahead, and advising the DHSC SoS as required. 

Outside of work, for the past 16 years, Simon has been Chair (& now) Vice Chair of the Coventry CAB, and has led, working nationally and regionally, on the housing, care & welcoming of Syrian Refugees to the UK & Coventry. Simon sings regularly in choirs, is an active church member, a keen but occasional commuting cyclist, likes to spend time together with his wife and daughter, and goes to the movies whenever possible. 

  • Tasker A, Jones J, Brake S. How effectively has a Just Culture been adopted? A qualitative study to analyse the attitudes and behaviours of clinicians and managers to clinical incident management within an NHS Hospital Trust and identify enablers and barriers to achieving a Just Culture BMJ Open Quality 2023;12
  • Hall V, Hopkins, S, Siren Study Group & Brake S et al. Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after Covid-19 Vaccination and Previous Infection, New England Journal of Medicine J Med 2022; 386:1207-1220
  • Tasker A, Jones J, Brake S, Enablers and Barriers to Achieving a Just Culture in an NHS Environment: A qualitative Study on creating a patient safety-oriented environment. Health Service Journal (HSJ) category and overall poster winner for HSJ Patient Safety Congress 2022, June 2022
  • Brake, S, Millington Sanders, C, Thomason, D. Assertive Transition Service (Medium and High Security Mental Health), NHS England & Improvement (Midlands) Commissioned Review, December 2021
  • Patel J, Robbins T, Randeva H, de Boer, R, Sankar S, Brake S, Patel K. Rising to the challenge: Qualitative assessment of medical student perceptions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Medicine Oct 2020, 
  • Holmes J, Brake S, Docherty M, Lilford R & Watson S. Emergency ambulance services for heart attack and stroke during UK's COVID-19 lockdown. vol 395 May 23, 2020
  • Seamer P, Brake S, Moore P, et al. Did government spending cuts to social care for older people lead to an increase in emergency hospital admissions? An ecological study, England 2005–2016. BMJ Open April 2019
  • Brake S, Independent Chairing of the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Future Fit Joint Committee August 2017 & 2019
  • Brake S, Chair clinical senate reviews for Shropshire & Staffs Community Maternity Services & Telford ED Autumn 2018
  • Brake, S, Contributor & Subject Matter Expert for Open University Public Finance MOOC September 2017
  • Woolmoore A, Brake, S. Delivering frailty services – excellence and outcomes. Health Service Journal 2016, November 2016
  • Brake S, Sharing Best Practice in 24/7 care – CHKS Capita Health Partnerships 2016 Contributor
  • Lord Adebowale/NLGN/House of Lords/Collaboratei/Brake S Roundtable series 2015/16 expert panel member and reviewer of Reimagining Place-Based Health: A major new Commission from NLGN and Collaborate


Simon Brake