NHS digital transformation team to begin work next month

England’s NHS is gearing up towards the ‘go live’ of a new digital transformation team that aims to drive service improvement using health data and technology.

The government announced the creation of NHSX last month and there are now 11 days to go before the official launch said health minister Nicola Blackwood at a digital health conference.

Blackwood was speaking at Delving into Digital, an event hosted by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

The new unit has been created to help implement health secretary Matt Hancock’s technologically-driven vision for the NHS, as well as the long term plan to improve services.

NHSX will bring together various different partners from across the health and care system to improve digital services, Blackwood said in her speech.

She said that the new organisation will improve quality of care, efficiency, and benefit both staff and patients.

NHSX’s responsibilities after go-live include setting national policy for NHS technology, digitqal and data, including data-sharing and transparency.

It will also develop and agree and mandate clear standards for use of technology and ensure NHS systems can interact with each other across health and care.

Other tasks will be to ensure all NHS source code is open by default so that anyone wanting to write code for the health service can see what is required.

NHSX will also develop and implement cyber security standards, and champion and develop digital training skills and culture, following recommendations in the government-commissioned Topol Report into the health service’s digital health training requirements.

In her speech Blackwood outlined there are still barriers to use of digital technology that need to be overcome.

These include a “consistent understanding across the NHS, regulators and industry about what good evidence for health tech looks like,” said Blackwood, who noted that the National Data Guardian will help to gain and retain public trust in health data sharing.

Blackwood said: “Inspired by the Secretary of State’s Tech Vision, I want to gut the internal wiring of the NHS, and deliver real interoperability of health data and technology.”


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