The chief nursing officer at NHS England has told the audience at Digital Health Rewired that she’d like to see a chief nursing information officer (CNIO) in every organisation in order to help drive the digital agenda.

Ruth May was responsible for appointing the very first national CNIO – Dr Natasha Phillips, who was also on the panel at the Digital Nursing Summit. But during her presentation May revealed she has even bigger ambitions.

“I was pleased to appoint the very first chief information officer. But I would like to see in every organisation, every organisation, a chief nursing information officer because I think that will give us the voice, the coordination and the network for us to make some bigger changes,” she said.

May is a strong advocate for digital nursing, acknowledging that it can transform patient care to be better, safer. Her words clearly resonated with the room: “I am passionate, and I feel very strongly, that if we use digital, if we use data to give us that information, we can change the world.”

She also spoke about her keenness to maintain the levels of digital innovation that were seen during the pandemic response, highlighting that data drove actions through the pandemic and talking of the ‘great leaps’ she hopes to see rather than ‘incremental steps’.

May added: “Today I had the great privilege too of being able to see the launch of the Guidance for Nursing, on what good looks like… That for me is a key part of how we support digital agendas.

“I’m delighted to work with colleagues to build on the Topol Review to look at how we commission a comprehensive review of the workforce needed and the digital skills needed for the workforce of the future.”

She finished by wondering how the nursing community can take digital to the next level – before revealing the answer: the solutions are already in the room.

Earlier in the day, the Rewired audience also heard from Dr Nicola Byrne, the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care who said data initiatives and organisations must ensure that they are able to demonstrate what they are doing with the information is ‘actually trustworthy’.

Taking place on March 15-16 at the Business Design Centre in London, Digital Health Rewired 2022 is a conference and exhibition which brings together all parts of the digital health community to celebrate the best of digital, data and innovation in health and care.

Health and care professionals will be able to network, collaborate and learn in person during two days of educational conference sessions, exhibitions and meetings, all focused on sharing best practice and innovation.

All the conference sessions will be CPD accredited.

While online registrations are now closed, you can still register at the door.