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Simon Eccles appointed as NHS CCIO

Emergency medicine consultant Simon Eccles will take over as chief clinical information officer for the National Health Service following Keith McNeil’s departure

Simon Eccles has taken on the role of chief clinical information officer (CCIO) for health and care, in which he will provide clinical leadership on the digital transformation agenda.

Eccles is an emergency medicine consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, and also the clinical director for emergency care at NHS England.

He has been jointly appointed CCIO by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and will also sit on the board of NHS Digital, chair the National Information Board, as well as being a member of the newly created Digital Delivery Board, which replaced the Department of Health’s Informatics Portfolio Management Board.  

He takes over the role from Keith McNeil, who resigned as CCIO in August 2017, after only 13 months, to take up a job as chief medical information officer in Queensland, Australia.

Eccles said he was looking forward to working across the NHS to use data and digital technology to “improve patient care and the efficiency of its delivery”.

Digital health is a fast-paced arena, and we must ensure parties work together to drive improvements for patients, who will remain my focus as I move from hospital work to driving the NHS IT agenda,” he said. 

“This is a really exciting time to be working on digital transformation, and more so in the NHS, with many important changes on the horizon.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement began looking for a new CCIO last autumn, and the original job advert said the CCIO would also work together with arms-length bodies such as Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure IT programmes are joined up across different organisations and “aligned with the health and care system’s needs”. 

The new CCIO will report to NHS England’s national director of operations and information, Matthew Swindells, who said Eccles was a “fantastic candidate” with great experience and knowledge.

“He will join an exceptional team that will drive forward our national IT strategy whilst remaining focused on delivering better outcomes for the patients we serve and improved efficiency in how we deliver that care,” said Swindells.

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