digital health

A new government unit called ‘NHSX’ is to be created with the aim of bringing technology to every patient and clinician as well as speeding up the digital transformation of NHS England.

The division itself will also seek to accelerate the uptake of commercial technology in partnership with the private sector, promising to combine ‘the best talent from government, the NHS and industry.’

NHSX logo

Health secretary, Matt Hancock has previously expressed his frustration at the slow pace of digital uptake and announcing the division today said: “Because I care about patients getting the best treatment, I care about the NHS getting the best technology. But everyone knows how hard it’s been to get the NHS to adopt the best in digital. We’ve set out a clear tech vision for the NHS, which underpins our NHS Long Term Plan.

“Now we’re bringing together the tech leadership into NHSX, which will be responsible for harnessing the true potential of technology to transform care, save lives, free up clinicians’ time and empower patients to take great control of their own health.”

NHSX itself will have fairly broad responsibilities including defining national policy and best practice, ensuring increased interoperability between IT platforms, setting national strategy and ensuring cyber-defences hold.

Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital, said: “[NHSx] will require sophisticated strategic planning, strong leadership and very tight partnership between organisations across the system. This new joint venture between the organisations who currently define digital strategy and commission digital services will create cohesion in these activities by concentrating work and capabilities in one unit.

“Within NHS digital we view NHSX as an important and welcome initiative and we are absolutely committed tow rocking closely with colleagues in NHSX to make this new venture a success.”