About the NHS Digital Academy

About the NHS Digital Academy

The NHS Digital Academy

The NHS Digital Academy is a service model set up to develop a new generation of excellent digital leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS. It was set up following a 2017 Secretary of State commitment as the concept emerged from Making IT Work: Harnessing the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England (the Wachter review) and recommendations outlining the need to develop and invest in the capability and capacity of digital change leaders (including specifically CIOs and CCIOs). 

Four years on, the NHS Digital Academy continues to develop current and future generations of excellent digital leaders to drive the information and technology transformation of the health and social care. We will continue to deliver the Digital Health Leadership programme (our flagship offer) while expanding this and other offerings into a sustainable suite of  learning artefacts, accessible to a much higher number and broader range of individuals across the health and social care workforce. This agenda remains of high importance for the ambitions of HEE’s Digital Readiness programme, not only building on the recommendations of the Wachter review but also the Topol Review, and recently very much reaffirmed through the Covid pandemic to support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan

Delivery of our programmes include a mixture of face to face, virtual, applied and experiential learning with mentorship and coaching support. We will continue to review the benefits and impact of virtual learning in light of the pandemic, and we are pleased to say Cohort 3 of the Digital Health Leadership programme (delivered by Imperial College London and partners) has been delivered successfully to date as a fully virtual programme, acknowledging that workplace demands on health and care professionals increased considerably, and while social distancing measures are in place.

We know however that an annual cohort of 100 students only scratches the surface and we have significant work to do in order to secure our pipeline of future leaders, as well as those already in very senior roles. And in addition we want to re-use the learning as much as possible to create uplift in digital knowledge for the whole workforce. There is work underway to expand both the reach and access of the NHS Digital Academy, ensuring a much larger number of individuals can benefit from high quality training.  

Find out more about the rationale behind the expansion by reading our future vision report.