Public Health England’s John Newton is to replace Tim Kelsey as chair of the National Information Board on an interim basis.
Newton, who is chief knowledge officer at PHE, will serve in the role until the summer when a more permanent replacement is due to be announced, Kelsey said at yesterday’s NIB leadership summit.
Kelsey plans to step down from both this role and his position as national director for patients and information at NHS England this month, in order to take up a new job in Australia.
Newton has been with PHE since 2012 and has served on the NIB board since its conception last year.
His prior roles include regional director of public health for NHS South Central and director of research and development in two large NHS teaching hospitals.
Speaking at the NIB meeting, he said his main task will be to keep up, and possibly increase, the pace of the NIB’s work on delivering ‘Personalised Health and Care 2020’, the framework that is driving development to a paperless NHS by 2020.
“The worst thing that could happen with Tim leaving is a loss of momentum,” he said.
He also confirmed that the NIB will support and act on recommendations made by Martha Lane Fox on four key ‘building blocks’ to support uptake of digital services in the NHS.
These include free wi-fi across the NHS estate; a focus on providing digital services to people who don’t have access; educating healthcare professionals on the benefits digital technology can have; and having at least 10% of registered patients in each GP practice using a digital service such as online appointment booking by 2017.
Also during the meeting, Tim Donohoe, director of informatics delivery management at the Department of Health, welcomed the £1 billion in technology investment promised for the NHS over the next five years in the recent spending review.
He said the money would help the NIB achieve all its plans, while existing funding would also be used to make sure current projects, such as Spine, can continue to deliver. He added that the group would still have to go down the “most efficient route”.
The NIB leadership summit also saw updates from the various workstreams involved in delivering Personalised Health and Care 2020.
These include the creation of local digital roadmaps – frameworks produced by local health and social care economies on how they intend to deliver an integrated, paperless service by 2020.
Paul Rice, NHS England’s head of technology strategy, confirmed that NHS England had received 90 footprints giving details on the make-up of these local care economies, 52 of which are led by a single clinical commissioning group, and 38 of which involve multiple CCGs.
The largest group is in Manchester, which has 12 CCGs working on one local digital roadmap for the region.
Other significant updates included a demonstration of what the new NHS.UK website might look like as a more personalised service for someone with type 2 diabetes.
As previously reported by Digital Health News, NHS England is working on developing NHS.UK from the home of NHS Choices to a ‘front door’ for all public-facing NHS digital services. A beta version of NHS.UK is expected in 2017 with the fully live service coming a year later.
Richard Jefferson, NHS England’s head of business systems, updated on the Summary Care Record, saying that it is now available at 73% of ambulance trusts, 38% of A&E departments and 85% of NHS 111 services.
He added that the continued uptake of the tool, which holds key details about a patient and can be shared with healthcare professional across England, could lead to £100 million in savings by 2020.