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The first week of operation of the National Health Service’s digital unit, NHSX, ended with the announcement of two senior appointments.
In a Twitter post, chief executive Matthew Gould announced that NHS England’s chief clinical information officer (CCIO), Simon Eccles, will take over as the new unit’s deputy chief executive.
“We are building a great team, and will be recruiting more soon,” he said.
Eccles recently stepped down from the NHS digital board to be replaced by Gould as part of a series of changes related to the start of NHSX’s operations. He was appointed as CCIO for health and care in February 2018, a role focused on the provision of clinical leadership for the digital transformation agenda.
Last week, Eccles outlined the delivery missions for the NHSX, which include interoperability. He is particularly interested in ensuring that medication data can be easily accessed across systems, as well as being machine readable because the current system is, according to him, “a specialised madness that has to stop”.
In addition, the chief technology adviser at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Hadley Beeman, will step in as acting chief technology officer.
Beeman was appointed as adviser for health secretary Matt Hancock in August 2018. Her key messages include the need for interoperability across the health system, as well as compliance to open standards by suppliers.
Minimal intervention between NHS organisations and suppliers is also something Beeman has talked about, claiming micromanagement is a bottleneck to innovation.
Both Eccles and Beeman’s discourse around the importance of interoperability, in addition to keeping the centre thin, is aligned with the overarching theme set out by Gould for the new organisation.
“The most important thing that we will do is set rules so that our systems can talk to each other,” Gould told Computer Weekly in an exclusive interview last week.
Read more about NHSX
- Getting it right this time: Why the strategy is not about delivery for NHSX.
- CIO interview: Sam Shah, director for digital development, NHS England.
- Health secretary Matt Hancock launches NHSX to lead tech strategy.