NHS England has secured a new CIO. William Smart takes on the England wide role having been CIO for the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust for the last six years.
Smart has been appointed alongside two other major information led roles at NHS England. NHS England say that the CIO role will “provide strategic leadership” and be responsible for chairing the National Information Board. The CIO will be the commissioning lead for major programmes being delivered by NHS Digital. As Horizon recently revealed, interim CTO Rachel Murphy has taken on the role of Digital Delivery Director at NHS Digital.
CIO Smart will report directly to the National Director of NHS England Matthew Swindells and be accountable for NHS Improvements a programme to improve healthcare delivery with sustainable funding.
At the Royal Free London NHS trust Smart was a board level CIO and responsible for all areas of technology management and strategy. Prior to joining the trust in North London Smart was with the Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Hospitals in Hertfordshire, which merged with the Royal Free in December 2014.
NHS England appoints Smart following the recent review into the future of NHS information by Dr Bob Wachter. Alongside Smart’s appointment NHS England has recruited a NHS Chief Clinical Information Officer – Professor Keith McNeil. Dr Wachter’s review suggested that NHS England appoint a CIO and CTO, but NHS England have preferred a clinical information leader “supported by an experienced health IT professional”.
Professor McNeil is NHS England’s first Clinical Chief Information Officer. A former transplant specialist he has held CEO roles at Addenbrooke’s and Cambridge University Hospitals as well as in Australia.
Another first for NHS England is the appointment of Juliet Bauer as Director of Digital Experience, who is responsible for the transformation of NHS Choices, the information resource. Bauer began her digital career with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK media organisation.
In a statement National Director Swindells said the three appointments would “ensure we drive forward our national IT strategy, but remain focused on delivering better outcomes for the patients. “In the future we will not talk about ‘IT projects’, only ‘patient improvements supported by information and technology’ and these new appointments will give the NHS the shared leadership to make that happen.”