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NHS England on the hunt for new CCIO

NHS England is looking for a chief clinical information officer to replace Keith McNeil, who resigned from his role earlier this year

NHS England is recruiting for a chief clinical information officer (CCIO) to lead the organisation’s development of data and technology. The CCIO will take over from Keith McNeil, who resigned from his role in August 2017, after only 13 months in the job.

NHS England is using recruitment consultant Odgers Berndtson to help find the right candidate, and the job advert says it is looking for a “visionary” CCIO to provide clinical leadership on the digital transformation of the health service as a whole.  

The CCIO, which is jointly appointed by NHS England and NHS Improvement, will also sit on the board of NHS Digital, chair the National Information Board (NIB) and be a member of the newly created Digital Delivery Board, which replaced the Department of Health’s (DoH) Informatics Portfolio Management Board.  

The Digital Delivery Board is the new governing body for the government’s technology investment programme. Former CCIO Keith McNeil was appointed chair of the board in September 2016.

The right candidate will also “act as a key leader within NHS England and NHS Improvement and across the health and care system, ensuring the organisation understands the importance of clinical leadership, evidence-based decision making and ongoing improvement”, as well as leading and securing “transformational change”, the job advert said.

The CCIO will also work together with arms-length bodies such as Public Health England and Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure IT programmes are all joined up across different organisations and that they are “aligned with the health and care system’s needs”. 

“This is a visible and influential leadership position, and one that will impact on the lives of millions of people,” the job advert said. “The CCIO will lead the NHS and care system nationally and as such, requires a truly inspirational and transformational leader who will bring a relentless focus on patients and service transformation.”

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McNeil was appointed CCIO in July 2016, as part of NHS England’s drive to replace the role of chief information and technology officer, which was previously held by Tim Kelsey, who moved to Australia in December 2015.

McNeil joined the organisation as part of a trio of digital leaders, together with Will Smart who is CIO for NHS England, and Juliet Bauer who is, director of digital experience. However, as Kelsey before him, McNeil is now also moving to Australia, where he will become chief medical information officer in Queensland.  

Prior to taking up the role as NHS England’s CCIO, McNeil was the CEO of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he led the implementation of the trust’s e-hospital programme.

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