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New tech unit NHSX will develop digital training for nurses

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A new joint unit linking leaders from government, the NHS and industry has been set up to drive the digital transformation of the health service.

Developing ”digital training, skills and culture” for nurses and other care professionals will be among the responsibilities of the newly formed NHSX.

The organisation will set national policy, strategy and standards for the use of technology in the NHS, as well as leading on digital procurement, cyber security and data management.

NHSX will help deliver on health secretary Matt Hancock’s tech vision and the NHS Long Term Plan.

Mr Hancock said NHSX would enable the true potential of technology to be harnessed to “transform care, save lives, free up clinicians’ time and empower patients to take greater control of their own health”.

Health and social care secretary

Matt Hancock

Source: Department of Health and Social Care

Matt Hancock

“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,” he added.

“This is just the beginning of the tech revolution, building on our long-term plan to create a predictive, preventative and unrivalled NHS,” Mr Hancock said.

The chief executive of NHSX, who has yet to be announced, will have strategic responsibility for setting the national direction on technology across organisations. They will be accountable to Mr Hancock as well as Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton, the chief executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement respectively.

The organisation is also set to have “oversight” of NHS Digital, according to Digital Health News, which reports to have seen an email from Mr Stevens and Mr Dalton announcing the unit.

NHS Digital

Sarah Wilkinson

Sarah Wilkinson

Matthew Swindells, deputy chief executive of NHS England, said the launch of NHSX marked a “transformational shift” to a more digitally focused health service.

“Bringing together the leadership around this exciting agenda in one place will help us deliver the far-reaching practical improvements from the long-term plan, improve the working lives of NHS staff and deliver better, safer care for patients,” he added.

Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital, said the organisation was “absolutely committed to working closely with colleagues in NHSX to make this new venture a success”. 

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