NHS Digital Academy

Plans are underway to create a virtual organisation that will provide a unique training and development opportunity for Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIOs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and aspirant leaders across the country.

The Digital Academy will provide a platform to speed up the development of these professionals, showcase excellence in training and development and improve the overarching capability in the health and care system.

The idea of the Academy was developed in response to observations and recommendations made in Professor Robert Wachter’s report Making IT Work: Harnessing the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England. Professor Wachter highlighted the need to:

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

Professor Wachter’s report also made an observation that there is “a lack of professionals – namely CCIOs and CIOs – that can drive forward the transformation agenda enabled by informatics and technology.”

The Academy will support existing work underway via the Building a Digital Ready Workforce (BDRW) National Information Board (NIB) programme.

We are primarily aiming at those who are on their way to the Board and senior leadership, as opposed to IT specialists. The work will involve procuring a delivery partner/(s) who will deliver the programme and lead on implementation, guided and overseen by the NHS Digital Academy Steering Group.

The key role of the Steering Group is to provide effective focus, expertise and influence in the design of the Digital Academy and, subsequently, strategic delivery oversight for its establishment and launch.

NHS Digital Academy Steering Group

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 also work closely with the 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.

Currently the Steering Group are finalising the programme and specification and an engagement day will follow in mid-March with the tender published towards end of March.

NHS Digital Academy engagement webinar

To provide prospective bidders with more information and for Q&A, we will hold an engagement webinar on 22 March, from 10am to midday. You can find out more on the Capita website.

Find out more

For further information, please email ENGLAND.ccio@nhs.net