health board meeting

Major reform set to merge NHSX, NHS Digital and HEE

The recommendations of Laura Wade-Gery, Non-Executive Director at NHS England and Chair of NHS Digital to merge NHSX and NHS Digital into NHSE/I, have been accepted by the Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid.

Non-Executive Director at NHS England and Chair of NHS Digital, Laura 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.”

The merging of the three organisations will seek to ensure the health care sector is in a better position to deliver quality patient care in the future, as well as strengthening the workforce.

Over recent months, both NHSX AND NHS Digital have developed and delivered new programmes such as ‘monitoring patients at home in virtual wards’ and the ‘NHS COVID pass’.

Sajid Javid said: “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.”

Going forward, ‘NHS Digital and NHSX will form part of the new Transformation Directorate within NHSE alongside Improvement, and Innovation Research and Life Sciences.

Interim CEO of NHS Digital, Simon Bolton, said: “The use of technology and data across health and care has been vital in managing the pandemic, and essential to supporting the frontline and ensuring care can continue to be delivered.

“From the vaccine roll out to identifying and protecting the most vulnerable to coronavirus, I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved during this challenging period, in close collaboration with our partners, which has made a real and valuable impact for the public.

“Now we will build on this progress as one organisation, accelerating the digitally enabled transformation of the NHS and improving it, both for its staff and the people it serves at the time they are most in need.”

The new reform will aim to build on the workforce progress made by HEE by integrating NHS, workforce and finance planning, making changes to education and training programmes and enabling a single national strategy for the NHS.

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NHE May/June 2024

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