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08.07.16

NHS England appoints senior roles to drive digital changes

Three senior NHS officers have been appointed to implement greater use of digital technology in the health service.

Professor Keith McNeil has been appointed as the first NHS chief clinical information officer, whilst Will Smart is the new NHS chief information officer and Juliet Bauer has been appointed as director of digital experience.

Together, they will chair the National Information Board and act as a commissioning client for programmes being delivered by NHS Digital (the new name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre), overseen by the national director for operations and information and NHS Improvement.

Professor McNeil said: “Introducing and embedding new technology takes time, and is always challenging. This is particularly so in hospitals and healthcare, however the rewards are great – getting it right transforms the way we care for patients, improves patient outcomes and saves time and money for the NHS.”

As CEO of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Professor McNeil oversaw the implementation of electronic health records, which he said was “not easy” but had provided clear benefits.

Bauer will oversee the transformation of the NHS Choices website and the development and adoption of digital technology for ‘supported self-management’ for patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

Matthew Swindells, national director of operations and information at NHS England, said: “This exceptional team should ensure we drive forward our national IT strategy but remain focused on delivering better outcomes for the patients we serve, and improved efficiency in how we deliver that care.

“In the future we will not talk about ‘IT projects’, only ‘patient improvements supported by information and technology’ and these new appointments will give the NHS the shared leadership to make that happen.”

The appointments come following NHS England’s decision to close the much-criticised care.data programme, designed to store all patient data on a single database, following the publication of the Caldicott report.

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