Last call on applications for second year of NHS Digital Academy


Aspiring digital leaders from across the health service have been urged to apply for a funded place on the second year of the prestigious NHS Digital Academy, ahead of Friday’s deadline. 

Dr Harpreet Sood, NHS England’s Associate CCIO, told Digital Health News that the 100 places available in the second-year cohort, were “open to CCIOs, CIOs and aspirant digital leaders” with first-year students being evenly recruited from acute and non-acute trusts.

He said: “We want applications from anyone in the digital transformation space. In particular, we want nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists to think about applying.”

Dr Sood added that the Academy wanted to encourage applications from social care and primary care.

The NHS Digital Academy is a partnership with Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School, the year-long programme awards a post-graduate diploma in Digital Health Leadership.

The academy was set up in response to Professor Robert Wachter’s ‘Making IT Work’ report, which urged the NHS to invest in training many more digital leaders. The three-year flagship £4million programme aims to train 300 NHS staff.

Students are expected to commit to five to eight hours of study per week (with peaks of 10-15 hours) and attend up to twelve days of in-person residential sessions over the year.

A key feature of the programme is that students must undertake a digital transformation project linked to their current organisation.

Dr Sood said that to apply for a place, prospective candidates “must have an executive sponsor and being clear on your digital transformation project”.

Examples of the projects carried out by students in the first cohort have included: creating a solution for order communications and results acknowledgement; the full roll out of an electronic prescribing and medication administration system; implementing and optimising a neonatal EPR; and introducing a cloud-based staffing solution.

Though primarily focused on staff from the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have each funded places, making applications open across the whole of the UK.

Applications must be in by Friday, 26 October.

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