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The former chief executive of NHS Improvement, Ian Dalton, has been appointed as the head of the Government Automation Taskforce.
Dalton started his new position on 8 July 2019. His main objectives are to prepare and enable central government to take advantage of opportunities to improve public services using automation technologies.
“Adoption of new technologies helps to deliver services more effectively, including making cancer diagnosis more reliable, or reducing fraud,” Dalton said.
“This can have a huge impact on people’s lives – and I want to be at the forefront of this ground-breaking technology.”
Civil service chief executive at the Cabinet Office, John Manzoni, praised Dalton for his work at NHSI, saying the executive has been able to improve its operational and financial performance, and achieve more integration.
“Dalton’s experience and skills will give an extra boost to this important piece of work, as we transform how we deliver public services,” Manzoni said on appointing the executive to lead the automation taskforce.
Government departments are testing new technologies including tools related to automation, but often do so in silos and risk reinventing the wheel unless there is better oversight, according to an independent review commissioned by the Government Digital Service (GDS).
Ensuring efficient application of automation in government will depend on making better use of data, according to a report by the National Audit Office, with assessments of which datasets are most critical to government taking place, as well as how they can be improved with process enhancement and automation.
Prior to taking up the new automation leadership role, Dalton held a number of senior positions in the public healthcare space over the past 30 years.
As well as his most recent stint at NHS Improvement, Dalton held senior roles including chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at NHS England and various senior positions at the Department for Health and Social Care.
Dalton also has held senior roles in the private sector, including president of global government and health at BT Global Services.
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