New chief executive Matthew Gould wants ‘thin’ central NHS technology organisation
NHSX, the new technology oversight body for the English health service, is ending several programmes.
In a blogpost, new chief executive Matthew Gould said the organisation will stop work on the Medicines Data and Integrating Pharmacy Across Care Settings programmes, which will be incorporated into work on interoperability.
It is also closing programmes where work has or soon will be completed, including NHS Wifi, Access to Service Information, Digitising Community Pharmacy and Widening Digital Participation.
He said that the NHS in England has been running about 30 digital transformation programmes but following a review this will fall to a core group of 10. These will cover the NHS app and citizen identity; digital child health and maternity; integrating community providers; screening; booking, referrals and appointments management; standards, including for medication; primary care; urgent and emergency care; social care; and local capability. The Local Health and Care Records Exemplars, Global Digital Exemplar programme and NHS Digital Academy will also continue.
Gould said that NHSX does not want to build many digital services itself. “There are plenty of clinicians, charities, start-ups and NHS trusts that can do a much better job of designing new services than we can at the centre,” he wrote.
Instead, he added, “we’re going to focus on standards and platforms, keeping the centre as ‘thin’ as possible. This is how the internet works and it’s the only way we will ever be able to be able to transform an organisation as large as the NHS.”
Gould was appointed as chief executive of NHSX in April, following the organisation’s creation by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock in February. Gould was previously director general for digital and media at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and before that director for cyber security at the Cabinet Office.