NHS Digital Academy

The NHS Digital Academy is the NHS’s first ever nationally funded programme of world-class health informatics training.

Set to launch later this year in partnership with Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School, the NHS Digital Academy will provide specialist IT training and development support to 300 senior clinicians and health managers over a 12 month period.

The aim is to help shape a new generation of Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO) who can help drive through the digital transformation the NHS requires.

A virtual organisation, the academy has been set up in response to observations made by Health IT expert Professor Robert Wachter that there is in the NHS “a lack of professionals – namely CCIOs and CIOs – that can drive forward the transformation agenda enabled by informatics and technology.”

Professor Robert Wachter’s review of the use of technology in hospitals Making IT Work: Harnessing the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England, published September 6 2016, included recommendations to:

  • Develop a workforce of trained ‘clinician-informaticists’ at the Trusts, and give them appropriate resources and authority
  • Strengthen and grow the Chief Clinical Information Officer field, others trained in clinical care and informatics, and health IT professionals more generally

NHS Digital Academy Steering Group

An NHS Digital Academy Steering Group has been set up to provide necessary focus, expertise and influence in the design of the Digital Academy and, subsequently, strategic delivery oversight for its establishment and launch.

The membership of the NHS Digital Academy Steering Group is as follows:

  • Juliet Bauer – Director of Digital Experience, NHS England
  • Professor Iain Buchan – Professor of Public Health Informatics, University of Manchester, and Director of Farr Institute
  • Dr Afzal Chaudry – Consultant Nephrologist and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Anne Cooper – Director of Clinical Safety and Chief Nurse, NHS Digital
  • Rachael Dunscombe, Chief Information Officer, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nic Fox – Programme Director, NHS Digital – link to wider Domain G delivery and supporting Digital Academy establishment
  • Andy Kinnear – Chief Information Officer, South West Commissioning Support Unit and Chair of British Computer Society Health
  • Professor Nicki Latham – Executive Director of Performance and Development, Health Education England (HEE)
  • Professor Daniel Ray – Director of Data Science, NHS Digital and Professor of Health Informatics, UCL
  • Will Smart (Chair) – NHS Chief Information Officer and Senior Responsible Officer for Domain G
  • Dr Harpreet Sood – Associate Chief Clinical Information Officer, NHS England and Lead on NHS Digital Academy and GP trainee
  • Professor John Williams – Professor of Health Services Research, Swansea University Medical School and Lead on Faculty of Clinical Informatics

The NHS Digital Academy will work closely with professional bodies for the informatics workforce that will be launched in mid-2017, namely the Federation of Informatics Professionals (Fed-IP) and the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI). These bodies will ensure accreditation of the programme.

Find out more

For further information, please email england.digitalacademy@nhs.net