Russell Cake co-founded 2020 Delivery in 2006 and leads our Strategy practice.

He combines client service to healthcare organisations with research into healthcare system performance.

Russell brings 20 years of experience to his work helping healthcare leaders to develop evidence-based responses to the strategic challenges facing the health service. He has supported several major system reconfigurations, advising on financial and activity strategy, capital investment, stakeholder engagement, and delivery planning.

Russell has a strong track record of providing clarity and insight into complex system challenges and engaging stakeholders in the delivery plans. He has nationally-recognised expertise in strategy development for cancer services and diagnostics – this includes publications for Cancer Research UK on imaging services “Horizon scanning: an evaluation of imaging capacity in England” and pathology “Testing times to come: an evaluation of pathology capacity across the UK”, each of which assessed national trends, national-level solutions and local solutions that individual health economies can implement. It also includes national-level work on MDTs, work with the Cancer Vanguards, work with individual health economies on radiotherapy and chemotherapy developments, and work with many Trusts on their imaging and pathology services.

A keen analyst, Russell is widely recognised as providing thought-provoking and considered insights into the healthcare system. He has led 2020 Delivery’s work on reconfiguration, including nationwide analyses of activity data, cost data and workforce data to provide quantitative evidence on the financial impacts of reconfiguration, and quantitative evidence on how changes in rotas can contribute to savings. As part of this, Russell has developed expertise in rotas and configuration for A&E, acute medicine, obstetrics, paediatrics and emergency surgery. He has led 2020 Delivery’s three-year research initiative into emergency pathway performance and winter pressures analysis, which has helped people to understand how the system behaves and how to achieve the best outcomes for patients. Most recently he has been studying the drivers of increased mortality in the UK, published on 2020 Delivery’s website here and referenced in The Economist here.

Russell has experience delivering system-level change at the centre of government. While working for the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Russell led the unit’s work on the implementation of key financial reforms within the NHS, including the implementation of Payment by Results.

Russell has extensive Board experience, currently as the Chairman of the MCC’s Laws of Cricket Committee, the body that sets the Laws of Cricket globally and issued a new code of the Laws of Cricket in October 2017. He has been an elected non-executive on the Main Committee of the MCC between 2007 – 2014, including on its Finance Committee between 2009 – 2014.

His sporting career includes first class cricket as Captain of British Universities, Captain of Cambridge University and professional cricket for Surrey County Cricket Club. Russell scored 4 first class centuries, including a century against Australia in 1993. He is also a qualified (and practicing) cricket coach, and played National League hockey for Warrington, 1st XI hockey for Cambridge University and county hockey for Lancashire U21.

Russell received distinction in his Master of Engineering degree and a starred first Bachelor of Arts at Cambridge University. Awarded the Cargill Prize for outstanding performance in Engineering at Cambridge University, he is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, SCS1 – Health Reform, London

McKinsey & Company, Engagement Manager, Boston and London

Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Chartered Mechanical Engineer, Cheshire and Johannesburg

Surrey County Cricket Club, Professional Cricketer

Intermediate Technology Development Group, Design Engineer, Zimbabwe