Hancock’s chief tech advisor says NHS Digital’s future is solid


The chief technology advisor to Matt Hancock has told Digital Health Rewired that the future of NHS Digital is solid, even with the creation of NHSX.

Hadley Beeman, who was appointed by the health and social care secretary in August 2018, said NHS Digital is still of “value to the NHS”, adding “it’s not going anywhere”.

NHSX is a new unit tasked with overseeing technology transformation across health and social care. It will be the organisation that has “oversight” of NHS Digital.

But Beeman, who has previously served as a tech and security expert at the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, said the unit was not “interested in micromanging”.

She added: “We don’t care who builds the plug as long as it fits the socket.”

NHS Digital has experienced uncertain times of late, with reports first emerging in August 2017 of a major restructure.

The secretary of state for health and social care later confirmed that around 500 people could lose their job.

Beeman joined a whole host of host profile speakers who took part in the first Digital Health Rewired Conference and Exhibition.

Earlier in the day Dr Ben Goldacre argued data analytics in healthcare is fundamentally broken and mistakenly focused on academic pursuit rather than actionable insight.

Attendees also heard from Doug Gurr, chairman of the British Heart Foundation, who argued data science offered the potential for transformation of healthcare.

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