This week, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced a new NHS body for digital, data and technology, NHSX. The aim of this new joint-venture between NHS England/Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is to work more closely with technology companies to improve IT in the NHS for staff and patients.
Speaking to the HSJ, Mr Hancock said NHSX would lead on creating an “unashamedly open” relationship with the health tech industry.
“NHSX will have an open door to allow discussion with health tech industry that is developing products to make sure that we are harnessing the best innovation to improve the NHS,” he said.
The new body will now be responsible for:
However, NHS England still remains responsible for delivery the long-term plan.
NHSX will begin operating from April and take over these responsibilities fully by October. Although it doesn’t currently have any statutory status. NHS Digital will report directly into it, rather than NHS England and DHSC.
A CEO will be appointed to lead NHSX, but it will be staffed by NHS England, NHS Improvement and DHSC employees.
What does the X stand for?
Your guess is as good as ours.
What does it mean to you?
Matthew Swindells, deputy chief executive of NHS England, said:
“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.”
Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital said she expects NHSX “will define” NHS Digital’s future “remit as an organisation” and in its initial form NHSX would “assume responsibility for a small number of areas of work where NHSD has previously led”.
“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.”