Digital Health and Care Wales is officially launched today. Created to take forward digital transformation, the new organisation will provide the national technology and data services needed by patients and clinicians.
Operating as a Special Health Authority with an independent Chair and Board, it replaces the NHS Wales Informatics Service, reflecting the importance of digital and data in modern health and care.
A Healthier Wales, the Welsh Government’s plan for health and care, identifies the development of digital services as key to delivering services fit for the future.
Bob Hudson OBE, interim Chair, said: “The pace of technology change has never been faster. We have seen how the rapid deployment of new technology has supported the NHS Wales’ response to the pandemic, with over 5,000 video consultations every week, a national contact tracing platform and vaccination system. But there is more to do.
“We are at a watershed where new technologies can truly transform the way healthcare is delivered, and the new SHA will ensure Wales is at the forefront of this revolution”.
As one of the few nations where a patient’s data can follow them around the system, Wales is well-placed to put digital at the heart of health and care.
Moving forward, the new Special Health Authority signals a change in emphasis focussed on delivery, innovation and support for individuals’ health and well-being.
Helen Thomas, interim CEO, commented: “Creation of Digital Health and Care Wales is a really positive step that allows us to support the wider system, with the advantage of scale when it matters, combined with an understanding of the health needs of our communities.
“This is an exciting time and the start of a new era for digital health and care. Technology is evolving and the pandemic has demonstrated that it has never been more important for our NHS. Now we look forward to working together with patients and health professionals to innovate, move forward and make technology and data work for better health.”
Digital Health and Care Wales is established as a national body by Welsh Government and is part of the NHS Wales family.
The organisation will have a key role in:
· Transforming digital services for patients and public
· Transforming digital services for professionals
· Investing in data and intelligent information
· Modernising devices and moving to cloud services
· Cyber-security and resilience