Editorial

NHS Digital taps ex-Home Office IT leader as CEO

‘I look forward to building on the strong foundations laid down over the last year, improving public access to data and modernising the way health and care is accessed and delivered,’ says new appointee Sarah Wilkinson

Posted 16 August 2017 by

NHS Digital has announced its new head is former Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at the Home Office, Sarah Wilkinson.

There, she had responsibility for the delivery of all technology services for Counter-Terror, the UK Border, Visas and Immigration, Asylum and Policing.

Before joining the Home Office, Wilkinson had a long career in financial services IT with senior positions at organisations like Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

Wilkinson holds a number of other public sector IT-relevant roles, such as being a non-executive director of the Police ICT Company and a member of the advisory boards of the Department of Computing at Imperial College and the Department of Maths at Oxford University.

Further underlining her credibility as a public sector IT maker and shaker, her CV says she has also worked as an advisor to a number of technology start-ups.

Wilkinson replaces Rob Shaw, who has acted as interim chief executive for the last six months and immediately slots in as Wilkinson’s number two.

During his time in this post, Shaw successfully managed the insourcing of three critical infrastructure services from BT, including the Core Spine, the Care Identity Service and the Secondary Uses Service, which NHS Digital claims is “the most complex IT insourcing programme ever delivered”.

Shaw was also responsible for overseeing the provision of more than 60 essential live services to NHS and Social Care organisations.

“I am delighted to be heading an organisation that has such a vital role to play as the key information and technology partner at the very heart of the health and social care system,” Wilkinson says in the official announcement of her appointment earlier this week.

“This is a key time for the organisation as it becomes Fit for 2020, and I look forward to building on the strong foundations laid down over the last year, improving public access to data and modernising the way health and care is accessed and delivered.”