Today it’s the turn of Sam Barclay, a chief clinical information officer at Whittington Health NHS Trust, to tell us about his trust’s digital ambitions. He highlights the launch of Whittington’s integrated shared care record and picks a classic British actor to play him in the movie of his life. 

Why did you become an NHS CCIO?

Although it might look like an unusual move for a junior doctor, it was a no-brainer to me. After working in Whittington Health’s Service Improvement Team I realised how technology was a core enabler for success on so many of our projects around the Trust.

Within your organisation, what is the most significant digital achievement of the past 12 months?

Launching our integrated shared care record, Carecentric. The feedback from our frontline services has been fantastic. Major credit is due to our Patient Systems Team for this brilliant achievement.

What will be the most significant of the next 12 months?

Implementing e-observations across the acute site which can improve patient safety through rapid escalation of care when required.

What’s the biggest barrier to being a more effective CCIO?

Prioritisation. There are so many great digital health projects going on in Whittington Health and keeping abreast of all the changes is rather challenging as well as focusing on a few key enablers at a time.

What’s the biggest barrier the NHS faces overall in achieving digital transformation?

Clinicians not having adequate formalised training in how to be leaders in digital transformation. Hence the vital importance of the NHS Digital Academy.

If you have one piece of advice for other NHS CCIOs, what would it be?

Sense check your work with other clinical colleagues in different specialities. It can be very easy to have a ‘warped’ view of how clinicians work.

Who in the NHS do you admire the most and why?

Hugh Montgomery. Hugh is my mentor and has been instrumental in guiding me into the career I now have. He has a real ‘can do’ attitude and has inspired a lot of junior doctors along the way.

If you were given £30 million to spend on digital transformation within your trust, where would that money go?

Total redesign of our clinical workspaces with technology at the heart of it. So often the hardware actually gets in the way of doctor-patient interactions when it should be seamless.

What is the most over-hyped digital innovation in health?

Digital health apps which don’t have a strong relevant clinical research evidence base behind them.

What is the most under-rated digital innovation in health?


And a few non-digital questions, what’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why?

Actually enjoyed all my jobs, some have been hard work along the way but the end feeling has been good.

If you could invite three people, alive or dead, to dinner who would they be?

Elon Musk, John McEnroe and Sheryl Sandberg.

What’s the background image on your home computer?

The cottage my fiancé and I go to on the Isles of Scilly each year.

What’s your favourite piece of technology at home and why?

Internet radio. Means I can easily listen to my favourite stations from around the world.

If you could have any other job, what would it be?

The same one I have now.

In a film of your life, who would play you?

Kris Marshall.