NHS Digital’s analytics director to step down

Professor David Hughes authored NHS Digital’s data strategy and will now focus on mental health analytics

NHS Digital’s executive director of information and analytics, Professor David Hughes, is to leave the organisation in August.

Hughes had authored NHS Digital’s data strategy, a central part of the NHS’s Five Year Forward View.

According to NHS Digital, he will be leaving to focus his expertise on mental health analytics to improve mental health awareness, treatment and outcomes, which is a long-standing specialist interest of his.

Hughes’ 25-year career includes a broad number of roles in academic, government, private and the third sector.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he was an economic advisor for Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority and in the UK for the Department of Health.

He has also worked at HM Treasury as a senior health policy advisor, and held various private sector board level positions where he led the development of tools and support for commissioners of primary and secondary healthcare, as well as designing methods and practical tools for evaluating the impact of healthcare interventions.

He was also a chief executive of a healthcare consultancy and advised pharmaceutical companies, national and international charities and public bodies such as the Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch.

In a statement Hughes said: “I have truly enjoyed working alongside a group of extremely talented individuals, all of whom are totally committed to improving healthcare and making it more accessible through data and technology.

“Therefore, my decision to leave NHS Digital has been very difficult. I have no doubt that the team will continue to deliver the data strategy and I wish them continued success.”

He added that he was excited to have the opportunity to pursue his passion on mental health analytics through a number of opportunities that have been presented to him.

Meanwhile NHS Digital’s Interim Chief Executive Rob Shaw said that Hughes had been an incredible asset to NHS Digital and thanked him for his work.

“The power of data and information to transform care has never been more pertinent and David has contributed hugely, bringing both professional expertise and personal dedication to his role. Particular contributions include his professional leadership of our talented analysts and his committed development of the data strategy,” Shaw said.

“I’ll be working with David and his team to ensure there is a smooth transition internally and we are speaking about how David can keep in touch with the organisation as he embarks on his new challenge,” he added. 

Colin Marrs

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