University College London Hospitals CNIO set to join NHSX

The chief nursing information officer (CNIO) of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), Natasha Phillips, will join NHSX, the unit for digital, data and technology of the health service in England, this April, it was announced this week.

Simon Eccles, NHSX deputy chief executive and national chief clinical information officer (CCIO) for health and care, said on Twitter the new CNIO would “bring huge skills and knowledge to our team”.

WHAT HAPPENED

Phillips, who was appointed to the role of CNIO in 2017, had been at UCLH since 2013. Prior to that, she was deputy director of nursing at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, part of the Royal Free since 2014.

“Great to see nurses leading our tech transformation. We look forward to welcoming her in April,” tweeted Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England.

NHSX found itself in hot water towards the end of last year after having to remove the initial job advert that it posted for the CNIO role. The listing was criticised on social media as it stated that candidates needed to have “proven and significant leadership experience at director level”, limiting the diversity of people that would qualify to apply. 

“Especially when we consider the data that was presented recently this naturally means that the likely candidates from the NHS will be non-BAME, given that very few BAME people have reached director level,” wrote former NHSX director of digital development Sam Shah.

THE LARGER PICTURE

Phillips’ appointment follows that of David Turner, chief technology officer (CTO) at betting company William Hill, who will also take on the same role with NHSX. Turner will replace acting CTO Hadley Beeman, who will remain the health secretary’s chief tech adviser.

Meanwhile, NHS Digital also hired a new chief information security officer (CISO) this month, Pete Rose, more than a year after its first CISO resigned four months in the job.

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