NHS England is supporting the continued development of the Chief Clinical Information Officer Network and Health Chief Information Officer Network, pioneering best practice and collaboration communities for NHS digital leaders.

The networks bring together more than 300 NHS IT and clinical information leaders from NHS healthcare providers and commissioners, in an independent community dedicated to sharing knowledge and best practice. 

The new investment will support growth of both networks, with a priority on expanding the Health CIO network. Activity that will be supported includes a programme of physical and online best practice events covering the development of: interoperability; local digital roadmaps; Code4Health; and sharing the early lessons of vanguard sites on integrating records. 

The support follows an investment in 2013-14 that supported expansion of the networks, including the highly successful annual summer schools. 

Beverley Bryant, director of digital technology at NHS England, said: “I am hugely encouraged by the growth and ongoing enthusiasm of the Health CIO and CCIO networks. I’ve witnessed a real openness and sharing of digital success stories across network members, as well as collectively tackling some of the challenges and concerns that adopting innovative technologies can pose. 

“Member engagement through community forums, webinars and the unmissable summer schools, highlights the value of the networks. Already, many of the CIO and CCIO Network members have demonstrated innovation and commitment to their localities, as well as peers, by sharing work done in earnest on producing local digital roadmaps. 

“It is this level of contribution and support from our CIOs and CCIOs which is vital to the success of delivering an interoperable and paper-free NHS at the point of care."

Resource will also be targeted to grow the lively online community that underpins the networks. NHS CIOs and IT directors from NHS providers and commissioners will be encouraged to join the Health CIO Network and participate in sharing ideas and exchanging best practice on digital health.

The community, which brings together CCIOs and Health CIOs, is run as an invitation-only leadership forum in which the Chatham House rule applies. Membership is open to all serving NHS IT leaders and is by invitation or application.

Jon Hoeksma, chief executive of Digital Health said: “The membership of the networks already includes many of the NHS’s leaders in digital health, who come together through events and online discussions to collaborate and share experience.  With NHS England’s support we can now make sure that every NHS IT leader has a chance to join this vibrant community.”  

  • Independently hosted by Digital Health, the two networks have strong governance structures, including elected chairs and robust advisory panels that set priorities.  
  • The chair of the CCIO Network is Dr Joe McDonald, CCIO at Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust. The chair of the Health CIO Network is Adrian Byrne, IT director of University Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
  • The networks are made possible through annual industry sponsorship. Cisco, Dell and Nuance sponsor the Health CIO Network and System C, InterSystems, Cerner and Harris sponsor the CCIO Network. A transition to a sustainable mixed membership and sponsorship model is planned for 2016. 
  • The CCIO Network National Conference is on 3 November at EHI Live held at the NEC, Birmingham, with the Health CIO Network National Conference on 4 November. 
  • To apply to join the CCIO Network and Health CIO Network online community email Jessica@digitalhealth.net