NHS Blood and Transplant appoints chief digital and information officer

Wendy Clark, currently executive director of product development at NHS Digital, will join the organisation in January.

NHS Digital Executive Director of Product Development Wendy Clark is leaving the organisation after being appointed as chief digital and information officer for NHS Blood and Transplant, or NHSBT, it announced last week.

Clark, who is a trustee for Breast Cancer UK, will bring to NHSBT experience from both private and public sectors, leading technology projects for companies including AstraZeneca and Thomson Reuters at the beginning of her career, and working for a national security agency as chief information officer.

In the new board-level role, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of NHSBT’s digital, data and technology strategy, starting in January.

Earlier this year, as chair of NHS Digital's Women's Network, Clark penned a blog for Healthcare IT News to draw attention to the importance of working toward gender parity, particularly looking at the world of technology.

WHY IT MATTERS

NHSBT, which employs over 5,400 people, looks after blood donation services in England and transplant services across the UK.

The IT function is core to the organisation’s operations. Key systems include Haematos, a laboratory information management system holding test results for all diagnostic and stem cell activities, and the Organ Donation and Transplant (ODT) Hub, which streamlines allocation of organs to patients.

“Technology supports every aspect of our work - from matching donations with recipients, to maintaining open channels of communication between all areas of our organisation. It underpins everything that we do and everything that we hope to do in the future,” said NHSBT CEO Betsy Bassis, who joined the organisation in March.

A job advert posted earlier this year revealed that the new CDIO would need to lead the move away from “legacy technology stacks” to deliver user-centred services, heading a team of around 250 employees. 

“You will be expected to review the team’s structure, roles and operating model to improve our capabilities and deliver our ambitious strategy,” the listing read. 

THE LARGER PICTURE

Clark will have a busy start to the new role as organ donation law in England is changing from spring next year. A move to an opt-out system will mean that all adults, except certain groups, will be considered organ donors after death unless they have recorded a decision not to donate. More information about the change can be found here

ON THE RECORD

In a statement, Clark said: “I am really excited to be joining NHSBT as Chief Digital and Information Officer and can’t wait to start contributing to the important mission of saving and improving lives through blood, organ, stem cell and tissue donation.”

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