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NHS boards without ex-information officers are stuck in ‘post-industrial era’

NHS boards without ex-information officers are stuck in ‘post-industrial era’
By Jess Hacker
16 October 2023

NHS organisations without ex-chief information officers on their boards are stuck in a ‘post-industrial era’ different to the ‘digital world’ we currently live in, NHS England’s chief information officer has said.

Speaking at The King’s Fund’s digital conference last week (12 October), John Quinn suggested that such expertise is required at a decision-making level to help the NHS keep pace in regards to digital transformation.

Mr Quinn said: ‘I personally believe that we should have non-executive directors who are ex-CIOs and chief digital information officers on boards asking good questions and doing that right, challenge and support.

‘And if you’re a chief executive who isn’t considering that then you are from the post-industrial era not the digital world.’

Mr Quinn also told the conference that the NHS does ‘not know how much money we put of our total budget into innovation’, describing the amount of revenue streamed into innovation as a ‘data drought’.

Earlier this year, the NHS Confederation warned that the Government must consider the capacity and headspace digital transformation will require of health leaders, particularly given cuts to ICB running costs.

It came after NHS England subjected ICBs to a 30% real terms reduction per ICB by 2025/26, adding that it expected at least 20% to be delivered in 2024/25.

Meanwhile co-founder of eConsult, Dr Murray Ellender, told Healthcare Leader he believed the NHS has underinvested in digital tools.

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