Executive team

Rachael Beard – HR DirectorDavid Halsall – Clinical DirectorRobert Heywood – Chief Operating OfficerAndrew Knott – Commercial Director

Rachael Beard – HR Director


Rachael has over 15 years’ experience in HR, both in the NHS and the private sector. She is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Personnel and Development and a qualified coach, and has worked at an executive level since 2011. Prior to joining the Partnership, Rachael was Director of HR at Suffolk Community Healthcare.

Rachael is responsible for all aspects of the Partnership’s workforce, including:

  • HR strategy
  • Organisation development
  • Training and education
  • Workforce planning
  • Leadership development including talent planning

David Halsall – Clinical Director


A highly qualified clinical scientist, David has over 15 years’ experience working as a consultant clinical scientist in the NHS. Prior to working with the Pathology Partnership, David was Clinical Director for Biochemistry at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has a keen interest in endocrinology and is director of the Supra-Regional Assay Service for endocrinology.

David’s key areas of responsibility are:

  • Quality and clinical governance
  • Clinical safety
  • Patient safety
  • Clinical leadership and practice standards
  • Research and development
  • Providing specialist clinical advice to other healthcare professionals

Robert Heywood – Chief Operating Officer


Rob became Acting Chief Operating Officer at the Partnership in November 2016. He has worked in the NHS for more than 17 years in roles ranging from being a porter to sitting on the Board of an NHS Foundation Trust. Rob developed his operational management and leadership skills as a general manager at Peterborough Hospital before becoming Director of Operations at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and then Chief Operating Officer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn. Rob’s experience includes managing emergency flow, elective services, diagnostics (including pathology) and working in primary care and at the Department of Health. He has a degree in medical science and a masters in healthcare management, with a dissertation of focussed on the importance of emotional intelligence in leading healthcare

Andrew Knott – Commercial Director


Andrew’s background is in business development and marketing, and the majority of his career has been spent in professional services, most latterly as the marketing leader for PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PWC) public sector practice. Andrew is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Member of the Marketing Society and a Certified Member of the Market Research Society. He was actively involved in the creation of the Pathology Partnership, and prior to this he was the commercial lead at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew’s key areas of responsibility are:

  • Developing and managing relationships with existing and new customers
  • Leading bids for new business and re-tenders
  • Strategic planning
  • Branding and reputation management
  • Legal/company secretarial

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