The former IT lead at Devon Partnership NHS Trust has been made CIO of the North Cumbria Health and Care Integrated Care System.

Mark Jones, who acted as the trust’s CIO for three years, has been drafted in to head up digital strategy for the integrated care system (ICS) in north-west England.

Jones has spent 18 years within the NHS, having worked across acute, community and primary care, mental health and learning disabilities and within clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Jones was also among the first cohort of students of the NHS Digital Academy, which opened its doors in February 2018.

He said: “I’ve had a great first couple of weeks getting to know the teams, and I can’t wait to see what the first few months of my new role bring. When I saw the role advertised, I knew I had to apply, and I’m relishing the opportunity to help shape the digital future for the region.

“The right technology, shaped around the health and care of the people who use our services, will help provide truly integrated care, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

North Cumbria was enrolled into NHS England’s integrated care development programme in May of this year.

The programme is designed to enable organisations to work more closely together to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

In North Cumbria, specialist teams have been set up to support older patients at home by linking GPs with consultants, community services and adult social care.

There are also “well-developed plans” for a £30 million revamp of West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, as well as plans for a new £30 million cancer centre in Carlisle.

Tim Evans, associate chief operating officer and lead officer for the development of integrated care communities, said Jones had joined the North Cumbria ICS at “a really exciting time”.

He added: “As we are developing Integrated Care Communities by bringing together primary care doctors and their teams with adult social care and community health teams, it is more important than ever that we make sure our technology not only links across organisational boundaries but enables our staff to work in a more flexible and mobile way.”