NHS Informatics wants to see “a major step change” in the way that national IT programmes are managed in the future, with senior responsible owners taking responsibility for “the delivery of benefits for the money invested.”
As eHealth Insider reported yesterday, a draft business plan for 2012-13 indicates that NHS Informatics will be split in three by the end of the financial year, at which point NHS Connecting for Health will also cease to exist.
Responsibility for NHS information policy will pass to the slimmed-down Department of Health, while the NHS Commissioning Board in Leeds takes on the job of “sponsoring” infrastructure, standards and information governance.
The ‘new’ Health and Social Care information Centre will then take over their management and monitoring.
As part of these changes, SROs have been appointed for national programmes and will be appointed to other projects and services.
The plan says they are being given “budget accountability and responsibility for ensuring the planned benefits” and this is “one of the key changes underpinning the design of the future state for the provision of informatics support across health and social care.”
However, it also identifies it as one of the key risks, if SROs fail to grasp the scale of the change required.
Getting the new system in place is one of the first jobs of Tim Donohoe, who is to take over from NHS Informatics’ managing director, Katie Davis, when she steps down from her job before 1 September.
Donohoe is also tasked with completing a substantial amount of the business left over from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.
This includes “finalising re-negotiations on the local service provider contracts”, “deriving benefits” from Choose and Book, the Summary Care Record and other projects that are finally being rolled out, and “refreshing” business cases and contracts for services such as NHSmail.
However, a lot of practical work will fall to Paul Jones, head of the Technology Office, which will be split up between the new, tripartite structure.
The business plan says Jones will need to deliver options for a successor to N3, options for NHSmail, requirements and design for a revamped spine service (Spine2) and options for a revamped Choose and Book (CAB2) by the autumn.
Other projects on the Technology Office’s books include publishing “local informatics initiatives registers” to support the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention agenda.
Meanwhile, it will continue the development of a virtual sandpit integration testing environment, and put out further releases of SNOMED CT, the dm+d and other standards in September and March next year.
Charles Gutteridge, the head of the NHS Informatics Clinical Division, will focus on moving policy support to the slimmed down DH, supporting the NHS information strategy as it rolls out, and creating new models for both clinical and patient informatics leadership.