New BCS Health and Care chair talks goals and capitalising on expertise

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The new chair of BCS Health and Care has spoken to Digital Health News about his goals for the company and where he sees the organisation going in the future. 

Dr Philip Scott, who has been the acting chair after Andy Kinnear announced he was stepping down, says his main priority will be looking at how BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, can boost its role in supporting the professionalisation of digital workers within this sector.

Dr Scott has said his focus will be “developing ideas around how BCS Health and Care can offer more, for instance, around continuous professional development” and talking to Health Education England about what that should look like. He also said he wants to look into how the organisation interacts with employers in the NHS and social care.

The British Computer Society (BCS) is a membership organisation with over 50 specialist groups made up of IT professionals who provide expertise and a forum for debate and discussion around their chosen subject.

The Health and Care section is just one arm of the organisation and Dr Scott told Digital Health News he wants to work with others.

“I am keen to work with the AI specialist group and others,” he said.

“There is a whole wealth of expertise across BCS”.

Dr Scott also said he wants to engage more with the data science community as well as raise the profile of BCS Health and Care within the NHS and the government, providing guidance on a range of healthcare issues.

He said one of his goals as chair is for BCS Health and Care to be seen as the “national body” which the likes of NHSX come to for advice and guidance.

BCS is part of the consortium behind the Federation for Informatics Professions (FEDIP), which maintains a public register that demonstrates the professional competency of informatics staff and it offers Professional Registration for IT Technicians (RITTech).

Dr Scott added that his other goal is to “see a blossoming of membership”.

A reader in health informatics at the University of Portsmouth, Dr Scott has also held positions as a digital healthcare architect at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and deputy editor of BMJ Health and Care Informatics.

Currently, he also serves on the Boards of Professional Record Standards Body and Health Level 7 UK and is Chair of the Evaluation Working Group of the European Federation of Medical Informatics.

Adam Thilthorpe, director for professionalism at BCS, said: “It’s great that Philip is taking the helm at BCS Health and Care at a time of exciting change in the NHS. We look forward to listening to what he has to say around how we can promote professionalism in IT in this sector. It is an issue that BCS is already firmly committed to.”

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