Gwyn Thomas has been appointed as the chief information officer for the Welsh Assembly Government, E-Health Insider has learned.

Dr Thomas will continue in his role as chief executive of Informing Healthcare, the programme set up by the Welsh Assembly to improve health services in Wales by introducing new ways of accessing and storing information.

The Welsh Assembly has yet to officially announce the appointment. However, at the HI-profile conference for health informatics in the NHS in Cardiff this week, Dr Thomas told an audience of around 250 of his new appointment.

A spokesperson for Informing Healthcare, told E-Health Insider: “I can confirm that Gwyn has been appointed as CIO for the Welsh Assembly government.

"However, this will be a joint role as he will continue his work with Informing Healthcare. The official appointment will be made shortly when more details will be released.”

Before joining Informing Healthcare in April 2005, Dr Thomas was the chief executive of England’s NHS Information Authority, the body set up to implement the 1998 healthcare IT strategy, Information for Health.

The strategy funded an NHS network and personal demographic services and set targets for electronic patient and health records that local organisations were supposed to meet through “local implementation” of their own IT systems.

Much of its work was taken over by NHS Connecting for Health after the National Programme for IT in the NHS was set up to drive electronic health records through “ruthless standardisation.” Dr Thomas has adopted some of the NHSIA’s ethos in Wales.

Link: Informing Healthcare