Bob Hudson appointed as first head of Digital Health and Care Wales

Welsh government moves opening of IT special health authority to April due to Covid-19 

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

The Welsh Government has appointed Bob Hudson, a veteran healthcare executive, as the interim head of its new special health authority for NHS IT. 

It also announced that the organisation will be called Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) and will operate from 1 April 2021, later than planned due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The government announced its plan to move the NHS Wales Informatics Service from Velindre NHS Trust to a new special health authority in September. 

Hudson led the establishment of Public Health Wales NHS Trust and has served as the Welsh Government’s director of strategy for health and social services. He has been appointed to serve for a year from 6 November and will be paid £38,844 annually for working 13 days a month. 

“His experience across Welsh Government and the NHS in Wales will be an important advantage in establishing DHCW and its place within the NHS Wales family,” said Vaughan Gething, Wales’s minister for health and social services, in a written statement. He said that the appointment will support a “challenging timeline” for recruiting staff to the new body in time for it to start operations on 1 April.   

“There remains much work to be done between now and April 2021 but I am confident DHCW will be in place and able to make a positive impact in Wales from next year and to play its part in delivering better outcomes for patients and health professionals,” Gething added. 

The minister previously announced extra funding of £50m for digital work within the Welsh NHS. The new agency resulted from two government reviews of healthcare technology, which also recommended more use of common technical standards and shared services, along with new governance and decision-making structures. The government will also appoint a chief digital officer for health and care. 

The Welsh Government has published a consultation on how DHCW will work, which closes on 30 November.

Sam Trendall

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