The NHS Digital Academy Leadership Summit 2022

Published on 01 December 2022

Professional networks, NHS Digital Academy

Last week (Wednesday 23 November) we welcomed over 240 delegates to the inaugural NHS Digital Academy Leadership Summit, held in partnership with HETT, at the Tower Hotel in London.

The event, designed to bring together the best of the UK’s health and care ecosystem, saw attendees discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the sector including big picture challenges to shared care records, data analytics and digital exclusions from health inequalities and much more.

A packed agenda saw over 25 speakers, including leading voices such as James Freed, Digital Health Leadership Programme Alumni and Chief Digital Information Officer (CDIO) at Health Education England, Helen Crowther, Florence Nightingale Digital Scholar and National Digital Primary Care Nurse Lead, Mark Nicholas, Chief Social Worker at NHS Digital and Ming Tang, Chief Data and Analytics Office at NHS England.

Panels also included alumni from across NHS Digital Academy learning programmes including the Digital Health Leadership programme, the Topol Digital Fellowships, the Digital Futures programme, the Health Innovation Placement (HIP) programme and the Florence Nightingale Foundation Digital Scholarship programme.

During the afternoon delegates were invited to join one of three lively roundtable sessions discussing either the Informatics Skills Development Networks and how to get involved in this moving agenda, female leadership in tech, or how technology can streamline data and reengineer processes to reduce the backlog.

The closing session saw a candid and enlightening ‘fireside chat’ between the Chief Executive Officer at Health Education England, Navina Evans and Sonia Patel, who is both an alumnus of the Digital Health Leadership programme and System Chief Information Officer (CIO) at NHS England.

With plenty of opportunities for delegates to network throughout the day, Ayesha Rahim, Chief Medical Information Officer at Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust and Digital Health Leadership Programme Cohort 1 Alumni said:

"Events like this are fantastic - to be able to network with peers, particularly peers that I haven't seen for a while, to make sure I really understand the benefits of what they're doing, and I can take some of that back to my own organisation."

Topol Digital Fellowship Cohort 1, Digital Health Leadership Programme Cohort 4 Alumni and Senior Delivery Manager at NHS England, Melanie Martin, said:

“Both NHS Digital Academy programmes have really helped to shape my part in the much broader health and care system and today has been an amazing experience, meeting some people for the first time and sitting alongside people that I have admired and followed for a long time - to be sitting next to them is a very proud moment.”

Sam Shah, Chair of the HETT Steering Committee and Chief Medical Strategy Officer for Numan, who is also a graduate of Cohort 1 of the Digital Health Leadership program, said:

“The fantastic thing about the NHS Digital Academy Leadership Summit is that it's bringing people together from different programmes ... there are different participants with different skillsets coming together, learning from one another, and sharing.

The NHS Digital Academy, and this event, is now focussed on skills for everyone in the workforce irrespective of what level they are at and what their skillset happens to be - it's almost around levelling up within the NHS workforce. It generates ideas and things that people can work on together, forming connections and sharing learning.”

Speaking about the success of the first NHS Digital Academy Leadership Summit, James Freed said:

 “Following on from the success of last week’s event, we will continue to build on the strength of our Alumni network and really leverage the role of the NHS Digital Academy in facilitating peer networks and sharing knowledge and ideas across the whole of the health and social care system.”