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NHS could lose role of IT chief as shake-up decentralises department

Katie Davis, interim head of health informatics, told Computer Weekly that she does not expect her current position within the department to become permanent. Her role is to manage transition, she said.

Kathleen Hall is correspondent for Computer Weekly. She writes about technology issues in small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as specialising in the retail and services sectors.

Previously Kathleen worked as business reporter for Vitesse Media, covering SMEs and enterprise IT. 

Follow her on Twitter @KatHallCW

kathleen.hall@rbi.co.uk 

The NHS could ditch the role of IT chief, as the Department of Health aims to move towards a more local commissioning approach.

Katie Davis (pictured), interim head of health informatics, told Computer Weekly that she does not expect her current position within the department to become permanent. Her role is to manage transition, she said.

"What that future will bring is a bit too early to say, but I don't think my role translates that easily into the future. I see it more as making sure we've got the right governance, the right levers and incentives to make the future marketplace work as well as it needs to," said Davis.

Davis was appointed to the role in July following the departure of Christine Connelly. At the time Connelly said she made the decision to quit following the major structural reorganisation underway at the NHS and the creation of a number of senior posts. "I have been reflecting on whether I would wish to go for one of those roles and decided that I will not," she said.

The NHS commissioning board, which is currently being set up, will take on a strong role in the future, said Davis. "The healthcare system is evolving, the role of department is changing, and the role of the NHS commissioning board is evolving at the same time," she said.

Davis confirmed that the department's Information Revolution strategy, originally due to be published this autumn, will not be released until next year. The strategy fell under the remit of Giles Wilmore, director of quality framework in the Department of Health, following Connelly's departure.

Future Forums, a group of clinicians, patients and voluntary representatives, is involved in the consultative work around the strategy and won't be reporting until December at the earliest, said Davis.

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