As of today, NHS England will assume all of NHS Digital’s responsibilities as the health service looks to transform its working practices as we dive deeper into the New Year.
The merger comes as a result of a recommendation made in Laura Wade-Gery’s Putting data, digital and tech at the heart of transforming the NHS review, which was published back in late 2021.
The move means NHS England will preside over the country’s crucial IT infrastructure which supports healthcare from Newcastle to Cornwall, as well as the collection, analysis, publication, and dissemination of data from health and care providers.
Speaking back in 2021, Wade-Gery said: “In the rest of our lives, digital has really changed how we live and we must now make this true in healthcare.
“The goal of my review is to equip the national centre with the right capability to support Integrated Care Systems to deliver better citizen health. We need to have the culture, operating model, skills, capabilities and processes to put data, digital and technology at the heart of how we transform health services.
“I’m delighted that the Secretary of State and Amanda Pritchard intend to implement my recommendations and accelerate progress in transforming the way healthcare is delivered.”
By April 2023, Health Education England will also have joined the merger meaning NHS England will be responsible for the development, management, and ultimate betterment of the healthcare workforce.
NHS England say the changes have come into effect in order to reimagine the health service around Integrate Care Systems, with people, data, and technology “crucial to the ongoing evolution” of the NHS.
By working collaboratively across these areas, health leaders believe they can support local leaders to:
- Work in more efficient ways.
- Improve diagnosis and treatment.
- Understand and improve services.
Then health secretary, Sajid Javid also commented on the reforms saying: “To ensure our record NHS investment makes a lasting impact, I am bringing workforce planning and digital transformation into the heart of the NHS.
“These reforms will support our recovery from COVID-19 and help us tackle waiting lists to give patients excellent care in years to come.
“I would like to pay tribute to all our colleagues at Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHSX for the enormous progress they have made, which we will continue to drive forward with their help.”