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NHS England scouts for national CCIO

The new national chief clinical informatics officer (CCIO) role comes with a salary offer of up to £146,000 and includes leading NHS England’s Transformation Directorates digital clinical informatics team

NHS England is looking to recruit a chief clinical informatics officer (CCIO) to drive its vision for “the power of digital transformation” into senior clinical communities.

The CCIO role comes with a salary of up to £146,500 and will be responsible for advocating for opportunities associated with digital technologies within health and care.

NHS England is looking for someone with “substantial senior clinical experience” with a track record of “inclusive clinical leadership and strategic vision”, and must have board level experience with technology responsibility, or have worked as a CCIO previously.

The new CCIO also has to have extensive experience in introducing new technologies and innovations at scale and must have knowledge of using information, data and analytics, standards and “harnessing technology to drive service improvement, access to services and patient empowerment across health and social care”, according to the job description.

NHS England has not had a permanent CCIO since the departure of Simon Eccles in 2022, when he took up the role as chief medical officer at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The role has been held in the interim by Melanie Iles, who after a year in the position has now taken up the position of chief medical officer at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

When Eccles took up the role as CCIO for the NHS in February 2018, he took over from NHS England’s first ever national CCIO, who resigned after 13 months in the post to take up a job as chief medical information officer in Queensland, Australia.

The new CCIO will also be the first to take on the job after NHS Digital was merged with NHS England to create a single statutory body for NHS data and technology, bringing extra clout to the position.

The job advert states that the role is “absolutely critical” and the CCIO will “carry our vision for the power of digital transformation of health and care into senior clinical communities across the system, shaping the demand and expectations for the products and service we do, and could, deliver”.

It adds that technology is quickly becoming a critical aspect of clinical care, whether that is through use of wearable monitors, digital communications with patients, or the use of AI to interpret images or test results.

“The CCIO must advocate for the huge and ever-growing opportunities associated with digitisation of clinical pathways, and at the same time ensure a deep understanding of associated risk, and oversee the judgements necessary in evaluating the two side-by-side,” the job advert said.

While the digital transformation of the NHS has been on the government’s agenda for years, A 2020 report from the National Audit Office said that plans for a digital overhaul of the NHS had been “slower than expected” and the level of funding at the time might not be “sufficient to meet the government’s ambitions”.

However, in his 2024 Spring Budget, Hunt announced several initiatives and significant funding to speed up digital initiatives, including £2bn to update legacy IT.

Read more about NHS and technology

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  • 2024 Spring Budget: Jeremy Hunt announces funding to use tech to improve productivity across the public sector, with most of the cash focused on digital initiatives in the NHS.
  • NHS England is close to reaching its target of having nine in 10 GPs offering patients access to their primary care records online.   

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