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NHS Digital Academy to be hosted by three world-leading universities

The NHS Digital Academy will be led by three of the world’s best universities in a bid to equip healthcare staff with the right skills to boost digital innovation.

Experts at Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School in the US will be open for applications in September.

The virtual NHS Digital Academy is part of a wider plan to simplify access to care online and ensure that hospitals and trusts are benefiting fully from improvements in digital technology by increasing the skills of staff to be able to quickly and easily adopt new technology.

The scheme will run alongside the work being done via the Building a Digital Ready Workforce programme, which is being delivered by NHS Digital, Health Education England and NHS England.

It will also be the first time that a national structured development programme targeting change in management and clinical informatics is delivered for staff.

Topics that will be covered include how new technology can improve patient care and experience, as well as driving efficiency savings through digital innovation.

“If the NHS is going to have world-class IT systems we need a major programme to spread global best practice – and this links three of the best universities in the world to do just that,” said health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“The Academy will ensure the next generation of NHS leaders is well equipped with the most exciting innovations that deliver the best care available to patients everywhere.”

And Matthew Swindells, national director of operations and information at NHS England, commented that the programme was central to the NHS’s ambition to be a world leader in the use of digital technology in order to drive improvements in patient care and make health organisations more efficient.

“This pioneering academy will provide healthcare leaders with the right skills to tackle some of the most challenging problems facing the NHS,” he added.

Dr Harpreet Sood, associate chief clinical information officer at NHS England and lead on the NHS Digital Academy, said: “Investing in technology is important but equally important is investing in the people tasked with making it work for clinicians and for patients.

“This is why we are investing in developing a globally recognised Digital Academy because we want the NHS modernisation to be led by world-class leaders.”

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