The NHS plans to set up an academy to train some of the 12,000 new data and analytics specialists the health service needs by 2030 and could look to the private sector to fund the training, NHS England’s chief data and analytics officer Ming Tang said this week, the HSJ reported. 

NHS tech leaders have said the tender for the proposed federated data platform (FDP) could provide a funding stream.

Speaking at HSJ’s Data and Analytics forum, Tang noted that prospective suppliers are required to demonstrate that they provide social value as part of public body contract procurement and that she “would like that social corporate responsibility contribution to benefit the NHS,” HSJ said in its report. 

Ms Tang said she was “playing around with” the idea of working with potential suppliers to set up a fund that could be used for training and apprenticeships for new data and analytics specialists as well as for retraining current NHS employees. 

Despite the need to bridge its digital skills gap, NHS digital managers acknowledge that they find it difficult to compete with the private sector for skilled tech talent.  

In addition to training, the proposed academy would work with schools and young people to help deliver future specialists to the health service through apprenticeships and job placements.