The government has announced plans to create a new joint organisation for digital, data and technology, to be called NHSX.
The unit will take forward digital transformation in the NHS, allowing patients and staff to benefit from the latest digital systems and technology, it said.
The organisation will bring the benefits of modern technology to every patient and clinician, and it will combine the best talent from government, the NHS and industry to create the most advanced health and care service in the world to diagnose diseases earlier, free up staff time and empower patients to take greater control of their own healthcare.
According to health secretary Matt Hancock: “We’ve set out a clear tech vision for the NHS, which underpins our NHS Long Term Plan. Now we’re bringing together the tech leadership into NHSX, which will be responsible for harnessing the true potential of technology to transform care, save lives, free up clinicians’ time and empower patients to take greater control of their own health.
"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. This is just the beginning of the tech revolution, building on our Long Term Plan to create a predictive, preventative and unrivalled NHS.”
NHSX’ responsibilities will include setting national policy and developing best practice for NHS technology, digital and data - including data-sharing and transparency, and helping to improve clinical care by delivering agile, user-focused projects. It will also support use of new technologies by the NHS, "both by working with industry and via its own prototyping and development capability", the government said.
The chief executive of NHSX will have strategic responsibility for setting the national direction on technology across organisations, and will be accountable to the health secretary and chief executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement.
"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," commented Matthew Swindells, deputy chief executive of NHS England.
"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," added Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital.