Managing Director of Research Development & Innovation

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust


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Hilary Fanning

Community Member


Hilary is Managing Director of Research Development & Innovation at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK. In her role at UHB, Hilary manages the research and innovation portfolio, overseeing more than £300m research infrastructure and approximately 350 research development and innovation (RD&I) colleagues.

Under Hilary’s stewardship, the department supports the full spectrum of research at UHB, including research business support, research governance and grant preparation for submission for funding though to delivery of clinical trials, and support for generation, evaluation, implementation and audit of AI technologies. In collaboration with UHB’s Education Directorate and University of Birmingham, RD&I supports a portfolio of education and training activities for medical and allied health professionals academic capacity building.

Her department’s innovation portfolio encompasses healthcare data research infrastructure including the HDR UK INSIGHT, HDR UK PIONEER and UHB PATHWAY health data research hubs. These health data research hubs have been nationally recognised for their innovative approaches to the safe and transparent use of health data to drive improvements in patient care and have played a key role in setting out how to meaningfully involve patients and the public in decision-making around health data use for research. More recently, she has taken on the role of Programme Director for West Midlands Secure Data Environment (SDE), which is hosted by UHB. The West Midlands SDE is part of an evolving national network being put in place as part of NHS England’s Data for R&D programme. The purpose of the WMSDE is to bring together health data from across the region and make this available in a safe and secure way to improve health outcomes and reduce inequality. Involvement of patients and the public in this important initiative to use data to save lives is at the heart of the WMSDE programme.

Hilary qualified as a registered nurse in 1985, going on to specialise in renal nursing. She has worked in both the public and private health sectors in the UK and Ireland. Hilary moved to UHBFT in 2001.  In 2023 Hilary was awarded an Honorary MBE for her services to genomic delivery.

Additional HDR Midlands Team Members

Firoza Davies

Patient & Public Representative
East Midlands

Mr Colin Monckton

Director of Performance and Information
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Rachel Caswell

Senior Healthcare Analyst
Midlands Analyst Network Lead Strategy Unit

Kathie McPeake

Macmillan Living with Cancer Programme Manager
NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board