The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a new joint partnership called NHSX. NHSX will lead the digital transformation for the NHS with the objective to improve systems for the benefit of both NHS staff and their patients.
NHSX has come to the forefront as much of the technology used by the NHS currently is outdated. The NHS systems were in place before the internet age. As a result, data does not flow freely around the NHS leading to long lag times, miscommunication and a disjointed service.
In recent years, digitalising the NHS has been a significant project. However, digitalisation tasks have been split across multiple agencies and organisations without a central place to report into. However, NHSX will now become the organisation that brings all of the digitalisation projects together covering all aspects of policy, implantation and change.
With the government’s Tech Vision and the NHS Long Term Plan in place, NHSX provides a team of experts that overarches both strategies and can move forward to maximise the effectiveness of the NHS.
What will NHSX do?
NHSX will be responsible for a range of activities to accelerate the government’s Tech Vision and help to achieve goals from the NHS Long Term Plan. Some of the responsibilities include;
- Improve data-sharing and transparency within the NHS
- Create a national policy for NHS technology
- Ensuring open source code for the NHS
- Develop and set standards for the use of technology within the NHS
- Allow open and easy communication across the NHS
- Assist with agile, user-focused projects
- Develop common technologies for use across the NHS
- Support new technologies as well as prototyping new technologies
- Create a procurement framework for the purchase of technology which supports the NHS technology standards
- Champion digital training so that NHS staff are digital-ready
- Creating efficient processes for cybersecurity, domain management and website security.
NHSX will report into the government and the NHS. The CEO of NHSX will be accountable to the Health Secretary as well as the chief executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement. Furthermore, NHSX will work with Government Digital Service to ensure alignment across the whole government when it comes to digital, data and technology.
Matt Hancock said of NHSX; “NHSX will combine some of the best minds from among the NHS, leading innovators, and government into one unit to set national policy, remove red tape and create a culture of innovation to allow the best innovations to flourish.”
Sarah Wilkinson from NHS Digital said; “Within NHS Digital we view NHSX as an important and welcome initiative and we are absolutely committed to working closely with colleagues in NHSX to make this new venture a success.”