Dr Simon Eccles becomes the health service’s most senior medical leader for technology, replacing Keith McNeil
St Thomas’ Hospital, where Dr Eccles currently works, is located on the south bank of the river Thames in London Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images
Dr Simon Eccles has been appointed as chief clinical information officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Eccles succeeds professor Keith McNeil who, in July 2016, became the first person appointed to the newly created role of NHS CCIO – the health service’s most senior medical leader for technology and informatics.
The new CCIO currently works as an emergency-medicine hospital consultant for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, as well as serving as NHS England’s clinical director for emergency care for the London region. Eccles also “holds a number of senior roles nationally, including as senior responsible owner for NHS Mail and interoperability”, according to the NHS.
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“Digital health is a fast-paced arena, and we must ensure parties work together to drive improvements for patients, who will remain my focus as I move from hospital work to driving the NHS IT agenda,” said Eccles. “This is a really exciting time to be working on digital transformation and more so in the NHS, with many important changes on the horizon.”
He added: “I look forward to working with all the teams across the Department of Health, NHS England, NHS Improvement, and NHS Digital as we use data and digital technology to improve patient care and the efficiency of its delivery.”
Eccles will report to Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director: operations and information.
Swindells said: “Simon was a fantastic candidate in a very strong field and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the IT agenda and the challenges being faced, together with great clinical experience from the frontline as an emergency medicine consultant.”