Independent communications consultancy Freshwater has appointed a new director to lead its expanding healthcare team and provide senior specialist advice to clients in the NHS and more widely.
Saffron Pineger, who will be based in the agency’s central London office, was formerly head of media at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, one of the country’s largest acute NHS hospital trusts incorporating St Mary’s, Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals.
For Freshwater, she will now be responsible for leading a dedicated team working with a range of NHS clients including Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Trusts, NHS performance management organisations, regulators and inspectors.
Saffron has a background in journalism, having qualified and worked as a reporter for Trinity Mirror group, and will provide clients with expert advice on issues management, stakeholder communications, staff engagement and media relations.
She will also provide clients with strategic advice and lead integrated communications projects, drawing on the expertise of Freshwater’s digital, video, events and other specialists.
“It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to work with so many healthcare clients across the UK, to fully understand their communications needs and put into place strategies to reach their audiences and get results,” said Saffron, who is 34.
“I feel passionately about the work of the NHS in providing safe, high quality patient care, so I’m really looking forward to supporting a variety of clients in this great health service.”
Freshwater has a strong track record in healthcare communication thanks to the work of its deputy chief executive John Underwood, who has worked in the sector for 20 years and will continue to provide counsel to key clients alongside Saffron. In addition to his work with Freshwater John is the Director of the Centre for Health Communication Research at Bucks New University.
“We are very pleased Saffron has decided to join our team and enrich our extensive NHS experience, working with John,” said Angharad Neagle, Freshwater’s group managing director.
“Her appointment will allow us to continue to grow the business in this sector and meet the needs of the greater numbers of healthcare clients seeking independent specialist advice.”