Today we are talking to Amanda Claeys, chief nursing information officer at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. She explains why she’s not too appy about apps and considers the biggest barriers to being a more effective CNIO. She also lists her dream dinner guests and reveals who she would most like to portray her on the big screen.

Why did you become an NHS CNIO?

I became a CNIO as I truly believe if we get the clinical systems right we can transform and improve the care we provide for our service users.

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

Implementing EMIS in the community so ELHT community staff and GPs can share data.

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

As an organisation which has just announced its preferred provider for an acute EPR, I would say getting the full business case agreed and starting the journey to implementing an EPR.

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

The pace of day to day work means having time to focus on transformational projects is a challenge for frontline staff. Without their involvement, we are at risk of implementing IT projects instead of transformational projects supported by digital solutions.

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

Lack of interoperability between systems, organisations and the different sectors providing care.

Which piece of technology do you think will most help ease winter pressures on the NHS?

I am not sure that it is a single piece of technology that will help. I think it is about all the clinical systems being interoperable and working in a seamless manner, with well-planned workflow for each department and built in device integration and decision support.

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

Be tenacious and keep asking questions.

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

The frontline staff who keep going every day whatever the weather; whatever the pressures.

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

I think I would spend it on an EPR. I appreciate this may not seem very exciting but as an organisation without an acute EPR, I feel we need to get the basics right first to allow us to be more innovative with our digital transformation in the future.

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

Apps. There are so many how do you choose which one is best for you?

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

The smartphone, which can fit in your pocket and be a source of endless information.

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

Typing the number in off the football pools and looking at Spot the Ball images for winners.

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

Nelson Mandela, Ed Sheeran and Jane Cummings, the chief nursing officer for England. A nice eclectic mix should make for some interesting conversation.

What’s the background image on your home computer?

A picture of my two children on holiday last year.

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

I don’t have lots of technology at home – I’m not really a techy sort of person – but if I had to choose it would be my smartphone that allows me to listen to music while I go out for a run. Running is nigh on impossible for me without the music to distract me.

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

Something to do with baking – I love to bake.

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

Sarah Lancashire – a gritty Northern actress would work well for me.

Sarah Lancashire
Amanda said she would like ‘gritty Northern actress’ Sarah Lancashire to play her in a film of her life