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NHSX to create new deputy CNO role to support digital agenda

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Plans have been revealed for the creation of a new deputy chief nursing officer post in England to help lead the digital agenda for the NHS.

The role is set to be based at health and social care secretary Matt Hancock’s new technology unit, NHSX, which was launched this year.

The announcement comes after Mr Hancock was pressed on the matter by nurse Jenny Smith during England’s CNO Ruth May’s annual summit in March.

Revealing the news on social media, bosses at NHSX said the new deputy CNO post was being introduced to help involve nurses in “creating standards, designing system and driving change”.

A post from the NHSX account said: “We’re committed to nurse leadership in NHSX. It’s why we’re creating a shared deputy CNO post.

“We want nurses to know they are a vital part of digital transformation.

“Let’s involve nurses in creating standards, designing systems and driving change.”

Ann Greggs, who leads the digital nurse network at NHSX and has been an NHS nurse for 30 years, welcomed the move.

She told Nursing Times: ”I think it’s great. [It is] always a positive step to get the expert voice of the nurse heard at a higher level.

”Digital transformation is a huge thing within the NHS at the moment, ideally having a nurse helping to drive this agenda is what I’d want.”

Dr May is already supported in her work by three deputy CNOs: Hilary Garratt, Mark Radford and Susan Aitkenhead.

Ms Garratt has responsibility for system leadership, Ms Aitkenhead leads on professional development, while Professor Radford oversees delivery.

This year has also seen the appointment of Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent as England’s first chief midwife.

Nursing Times has approached NHS England, understood to be handling communications on this matter, for comment but it has so far been unable to provide any further information.

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