NHS Digital has gone to central government for its new leader in the shape of the Home Office’s Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer Sarah Wilkinson.
The health IT organisation has appointed Wilkinson, who it sees as a proven ‘technology and change leader’ as its new CEO.
“I am thrilled to be joining an organisation that has such a major role to play in supporting health and care organisations to provide preeminent services,” Wilkinson said.
“Digital and technical capabilities and the fast-evolving market in platforms, software, devices and analytics, are transforming the ability of the medical profession to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. To be asked to work at the forefront of delivering these capabilities is hugely exciting.
“A major draw of the role is the opportunity to work with and alongside an incredibly talented team of medical practitioners, technologists and other specialists. It is a huge privilege to be asked to be part of this community.”
Commenting on the appointment, NHS Digital Chair Noel Gordon added, “I am delighted that Sarah is joining NHS Digital at such a pivotal time for health and care as we work hard to empower the system through digital transformation.
“Sarah brings vast experience of implementing complex technology projects, alongside a deep insight into bringing about positive change to a broad range of communities through digital delivery.
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“She is joining a talented, ambitious and committed team and I look forward to seeing NHS Digital continue to work with the health and care sector to deliver technology and digital services of maximum value to patients and the public.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rob Shaw, our , for his outstanding leadership until Sarah joins us.”
Sarah joined the Home Office at the start of 2015 to spearhead significant transformation of the department’s IT capabilities, bringing to the role more than 20 years’ experience of running IT functions in the finance sector.
Current NHS Digital Interim CEO Rob Shaw will continue as Interim CEO until Sarah joins NHS Digital later this year, with an exact date to be announced in due course.
NHS Digital (previously the Health and Social Care Information Centre) provides national information, data and IT systems for health and care services.
An executive non-departmental public body, HSCIC/NHS Digital was set up by the Department of Health in April 2013 and has an operating budget of £250m and 2,500 staff.