Dr Nicholas Hicks, FRCP FRCGP FFPH
Nick is a founder of COBIC and its Chief Executive and a Director of OptiMedis-COBIC UK. He was previously Director of Public Health and Chief Executive of NHS Milton Keynes. Nick’s career has included time as a practicing GP, as a public health consultant, PCT chief executive, and several attachments in the Department of Health, including to its strategy unit and as a policy advisor.
Nick has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and studied clinical medicine at the University of Oxford, qualifying as a Doctor in 1982 before training in general practice and public health. He has held clinical and academic posts in Bath, Bristol and Oxford and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford. He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship which he held at the Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California studying the measurement and improvement of quality and appropriateness of care.
From 1998 to 2002 he was seconded from the NHS to the Department of Health where he wrote the majority of the Coronary Heart Disease National Service Framework and, as a founding member of the small ministerial Strategy Unit, worked closely with ministers on a wide range of issues including the NHS Plan. His areas of professional interest include the use of evidence in policy making, outcome measurement, population health, coronary heart disease and health inequalities.
Nick has been instrumental in developing the principles and practice of outcome based commissioning in the UK and in understanding the implications for providers. He regularly advises commissioners, providers and profession on both strategy and the practical actions they need to take to make the most of the opportunities created.
Andrew P. Smith BSc, CPFA
Andrew is a founder Director of Cobic. Prior to the formation of COBIC, he led many of the Department of Health’s transformation and reform programmes, including the Any Qualified Provider Programme under both the Labour and Coalition Governments. Andrew also produced the first two versions of procurement guidance for NHS commissioners: ‘Procurement Guide for commissioners of NHS funded healthcare services’.
Andrew was one of the architects of the Principles and Rules for Cooperation and Competition and helped set up the Cooperation and Competition Panel to govern fairness and transparency in NHS commercial activity.
His career started on the NHS flagship Graduate Financial Management Training Scheme (FMTS), where Andrew worked in all areas of NHS finance, qualifying as an accountant and spending 2 years working in a large acute trust as a Divisional Chief Accountant.
Andrew has worked with most of the clients COBIC has supported over the last two years, including, on the commissioning side several multi-million pound transformation programmes. On the provider side Andrew has supported both the NHS and independent sector, including a key facilitative role for the successful bids by the Sussex MSK Partnership consortium building an award winning Joint Venture between Social Enterprise, Charity, NHS Trust and a Foundation Trust.
Dr Oliver Gröne, PhD MSc
Dr Oliver Gröne, PhD MSc, is Vice-Chairman of the Board at OptiMedis AG, responsible for the areas research & development and organization which he lead from September 2015 to January 2017 as Head of R&D. From 2011 to 2015 he was Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Health Services Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he obtained competitive grants as principal investigator to develop new methods for assessing and improving the quality of care. In addition, he worked for many years for the World Health Organization in Barcelona, Copenhagen and Geneva, where he led the “Quality of Health Systems” Programme. He publishes regularly in high-ranking journals and is Deputy Editor of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.
Oliver Gröne obtained a first degree in medical sociology at the University of Bielefeld, followed by a Master of Science Degree in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (supported by a full scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Services) and a PhD in Public Health at the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.