Dr Simon Eccles has been confirmed as the new NHS national CCIO.
Dr Eccles, a consultant in Emergency Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital and programme director for Emergency Care Pathway Transformation in London, replaces Prof Keith McNeil, who stood down in December.
Digital Health News first tipped that Dr Eccles was being eyed up for the national CCIO role in November.
The appointment was confirmed today (13 February) in a press release from NHS England.
Dr Eccles said: “Digital Health is a fast paced arena, and we must ensure parties work together to drive improvements for patients, who will remain my focus as I move from Hospital work to driving the NHS IT agenda.
“This is a really exciting time to be working on digital transformation and more so in the NHS with many important changes on the horizon.
“I look forward to working with all the teams across the Department of Health, NHS England, NHS Improvement and NHS Digital as we use data and digital technology to improve patient care and the efficiency of its delivery.”
Digital Health News, understands that Dr Eccles was offered the position in December.
NHS England initially refused to confirm the appointment. A spokesperson said at the time: “it’s an ongoing recruitment for this joint post and NHSE/NHSI will make an announcement once an appointment has been made.”
However, Dr Eccles appeared to confirm his new appointment in early January by setting up the new Twitter account @NHSCCIO.
The national CCIO role is a joint NHS England NHS Improvement appointment. Under the title, Dr Eccles will chair the NHS National Information Board, be a Board Member of NHS Digital, and work collaboratively with NHS Improvement, Public Health England, Care Quality Commission and NICE.
Dr Eccles will report to Matthew Swindells, national director of operations and information at NHS England.
Swindells said: “Simon was a fantastic candidate in a very strong field and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the IT agenda and the challenges being faced, together with great clinical experience from the frontline as an emergency medicine consultant.
“He will join an exceptional team that will drive forward our national IT strategy whilst remaining focused on delivering better outcomes for the patients we serve, and improved efficiency in how we deliver that care.”
Prof McNeil was appointed as the first national CCIO in July 2016 as the first NHS national CCIO. The appointment of a national CCIO was one of 10 key recommendations of the Wachter Review.
In August Prof McNeil, a former chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, announced he was stepping down in December to take up a new role in Queensland, Australia.