Emergency medicine consultant named new NHS England CCIO

An emergency medicine consultant has been confirmed as NHS England’s new chief clinical information officer (CCIO).

Dr Simon Eccles replaces Prof Keith McNeil, who resigned last year, and will provide clinical leadership on the digital transformation agenda.

Eccles is a practicing hospital consultant in emergency medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT and clinical director for emergency care at NHS England.

He has been jointly appointed CCIO by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and will also sit on the board of NHS Digital, chair the National Information Board, as well as being a member of the newly created Digital Delivery Board – which replaced the Department of Health & Social Care’s Informatics Portfolio Management Board.

“Digital health is a fast-paced arena, and we must ensure parties work together to drive improvements for patients, who will remain my focus as I move from hospital work to driving the NHS IT agenda,” he said.

“This is a really exciting time to be working on digital transformation and more so in the NHS with many important changes on the horizon.”

He will report to NHS England’s national director of operations and information, Matthew Swindells, who said Eccles was a “fantastic candidate” with great experience and knowledge.

“He will join an exceptional team that will drive forward our national IT strategy whilst remaining focused on delivering better outcomes for the patients we serve, and improved efficiency in how we deliver that care,” added Swindells.

McNeil was appointed as the first national CCIO in July 2016, which was one of 10 key recommendations of the Wachter Review.

In August 2017 he announced he was stepping down in December to take up a new role in Australia after just 13 months in the position.

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