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Simon Gillespie

Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation and President of the European Heart Network

Simon Gillespie joined the British Heart Foundation in March 2013.

Before joining the British Heart Foundation, Simon Gillespie was Chief Executive of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society since 2006. At the MS Society, he oversaw the introduction of the Society's new strategy based on an extensive consultation with people affected by MS, new approaches to research and support for people with MS, and new governance arrangements.

He previously worked as Head of Operations at the Healthcare Commission, where he was responsible for the inspection of NHS and independent healthcare facilities in England. From 2000 to 2004, he was Director of Operations at the Charity Commission, modernising the regulation and support of the 180,000 registered charities across England and Wales.

His earlier career was with the Royal Navy, including command of HMS Sheffield and advising Government Ministers.

Simon has extensive experience of charity and non-profit governance, and as a non-executive director/trustee. He is currently a trustee of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College London, and a member of the General Medical Council's Fitness to Practice panels.

Simon holds masters’ degrees in: Philosophy and Political Science (MA); Business Administration (MBA); and International Relations (MPhil).

It's Time For A Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Programme

Detecting, treating and preventing these conditions cost the NHS billions of pounds every year. And the number of people affected by cardiovascular disease is likely to rise with an ageing and growing population. Records show that the number of hospital visits for cardiovascular disease has reached the highest level for decades.
02/10/2017 16:14 BST

Science And Brexit: International Collaboration Is Key

Today sees the publication of the Government's position paper on Science and Brexit. This long-awaited paper sets out what the UK would like to see from a new relationship with the EU when it comes to scientific research.
07/09/2017 12:53 BST

Brexit Negotiations Must Ensure Future Of UK Medical Research

This week, as the dust settles on the general election and we attempt to comprehend the unpredictability of British politics, Brexit negotiations have begun and we mark a year since an historic referendum which decided the future direction of our country. To say that we live in uncertain times would be an understatement.
23/06/2017 11:21 BST

The Government Must Act on Air Pollution

There is a consensus in the medical community and among the major charities in this area. There is overwhelming and terrifying evidence, which is increasing every year. So we are all calling on the UK Government, ahead of the UK Supreme Court ruling on this issue next month..
26/03/2015 11:33 GMT

The Science of Mending Broken Hearts

Heart failure isn't as well-known as its major cause - heart attack, which can permanently damage the heart affecting its ability to function. But heart failure's lack of awareness is not reflective of its impact.
13/02/2015 11:12 GMT

Lifesaving Research Is Stalling Without Access to Patient Data

A piece of European legislation is currently threatening to drastically limit the way in which we conduct research using data in this country. If it goes ahead unaltered, valuable work currently underway may become illegal with huge losses to our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
10/12/2014 14:04 GMT

Tackling Today's Health Problems Must Not Be at the Expense of Tomorrow's

We cannot afford to ignore the long-term, slow motion public health crisis we know is coming: preventable illness. More of us are living longer. But as the population gets older increasing numbers of people are living with long-term health conditions, like arthritis, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease.
17/11/2014 17:33 GMT

Why Coronary Heart Disease Is Europe's Biggest Worry

This potentially fatal condition occurs when the arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygen become narrowed by a build-up of fatty material potentially leading to blood clots and fatal heart attacks. Risk factors include things like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.
04/11/2014 13:27 GMT

This Week Give Someone the Gift of Life

Donating an organ is one of the most inspiring and altruistic things a person can do. It is often the gift of life to someone who is critically ill and might otherwise have just weeks or months left to live. It can give families in their darkest hour, the opportunity to turn their tragedy into hope.
08/07/2014 13:03 BST

Government Must Prioritise Portion Size Problem

Nearly two-thirds of UK adults are overweight or obese. So are a third of our children. It's a problem that isn't going away and it has severe consequences for the health of millions across the UK. So we need new approaches to tackling the causes of obesity.
20/10/2013 21:58 BST

Children and Families Bill Offers Standardised Pack Hope

The British Heart Foundation and a host of charities and organisations, concerned about the health implications of smoking, want to see cigarettes across the UK wrapped in standardised packs as soon as possible. And the British Heart Foundation's new poll reveals eight in 10 teenagers agree.
06/10/2013 20:29 BST

Standardised Packs Plainly Part of Public Health Solution

Last week, more than 50 young people from all over the country travelled to voice their support for standardised cigarette packaging at British American Tobacco's Annual General Meeting in London... Their colourful banners stated 'plain packs protect' while another read 'I don't ever wanna lose my best friend, smoking kills'.
02/05/2013 17:23 BST