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Meet the team

Our team of practitioners and associates are amongst the best subject matter experts in the country and at Niche we work hard to ensure that our clients have the best consultancy available.

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Dr Richard Ford


Job title: Associate Director






Richard joined Niche two years ago and has undertaken a number of important local and national strategic reviews and evaluations for Niche. He has Board level experience for over 20 years with charities, government bodies and in the NHS. Using his ability to analyse complex situations and create innovative solutions, he has led, and delivered, large scale strategic developments at national, regional and local levels. Richard is a relationship builder with people who use services, carers, professionals and leaders.


RMN, BSc, MSc, PhD

Richard’s recent projects includes:

Richard is a well-known figure in the development of mental health services, having authored many key reports. He was a regional director for the National Institute for Mental Health in England, senior policy adviser at the Department of Health and director of research for a national charity. More recently, Richard has worked as Executive Director for Strategic Development within a mental health Trust. He has also been a Trustee for the Alzheimer’s Society from 2012 to 2017.

  • Reviews and evaluations of the Mental Health Five Year Forward View priorities for children and young people, psychiatric liaison services, IAPT and perinatal mental health care.
  • Option appraisals, strategic and operational, such as for nurse consultants as approved clinicians.
  • Simulation modelling of capacity and demand for both inpatient and community services, including IAPT.
  • National evaluations of New Care Models for commissioning specialist secure, CAMHS Tier 4 and adult eating disorder services, and specialist community forensic teams.
  • Developing clinical pathways to improve outcomes, for example whole county projects for people with a psychosis or a personality disorder.
  • Large scale strategic developments for forensic services, children and young people’s mental health services and nursing home care for people with dementia.
  • Establishing, and founder director, for a public/private joint venture for specialist residential rehabilitation services.
  • Successfully competing for tenders to provide new services (value in excess of £100m).
  • Operational executive director for mental health services in Brighton.

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