NHSX reviews staffing needs after five team members leave in one month

The project team responsible for digital urgent and emergency care is down to just four employees.
By Tammy Lovell
01:29 AM

A further four members of the digital transformation projects team have left since director of digital development Dr Sam Shah quit in October, NHSX has confirmed.

Other staff members will pick up ongoing work “where appropriate” in the originally nine-strong team, which is responsible for multiple projects, including the development of digital urgent and emergency care and digital eye care, a spokesperson said.

Dr Shah, who quit the role after six months, was also clinical lead supporting the urgent and emergency care programme. He was appointed in April, one month before NHSX officially launched. He had previously held the same role at NHS England.

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An NHSX spokesperson told Healthcare It News that it was reviewing staffing needs “with the aim of driving value for money” after the four employees’ contracts ended.  They also confirmed that the departures would not affect any ongoing projects.

WHY IT MATTERS

The creation of NHSX was announced earlier this year, as a new unit for digital, data and technology, with former UK government director of digital and media policy Matthew Gould appointed as chief executive.

It is responsible for setting national policy, developing and mandating standards for the use of technology in the health service, and revamping procurement through “streamlined spend control” and new frameworks supporting these standards.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said that “the newest addition to the NHS family” was intended to overhaul the use of technology in the NHS and bring tech leadership, which had previously been diffused across the system, into a single decision-making point.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Dr Shah was recently ranked fourth in the #IB100, a list of the top 100 most influential black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders in the tech sector.

Meanwhile, Matthew Honeyman, researcher at The King's Fund, recently said that ensuring that users are engaged in the design and implementation of systems will be one of the key challenges facing the new NHSX unit.

ON THE RECORD

An NHSX spokesperson said: “Where appropriate any ongoing work has been picked up by the NHSX digital transformation team.

“We are reviewing the staff needs for this work with the aim of driving value for money and reducing reliance on external contractors where appropriate.”

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