NHS looks for digital pioneers to reshape services during pandemic

A fellowship programme is looking for digital pioneers to design and lead service transformation projects in England’s NHS as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

DigitalHealth.London opens applications to its Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, supporting change makers employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation.

Sponsored this year by Boehringer Ingelheim, the programme is now in its third year.

It provides up to 30 fellows with the opportunity to be part of a learning community focused on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations.

Individuals taking part have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.

They will hear from and be given the opportunity to ask questions of sector experts during taught modules on subjects ranging from change management and business case development to agile delivery and service improvement.

Fellows will also be able to choose a mentor and be grouped into action learning sets with other fellows working in similar environments on digital transformation projects.

In the first year of the programme over 80% of the fellows surveyed cited positive gain, saying that they gained specific technical skills or had met an individual challenge thanks to the fellowship.

All fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the fellowship was of benefit to their career, DigitalHealth.London said in a statement.

Sara Nelson, programme lead, digital pioneer fellowship, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges the NHS has faced and I have no doubt that the staff’s quick adaptation and uptake of digital innovations has been vital in enabling key services and care to continue over this period.

“As a nurse with over 25 years of service to the NHS, I appreciate how challenging digital transformation in the NHS can be if staff aren’t given the support, advice and time to develop professional skills that they need.

“I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”

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