NHS England to hire director of intelligence to take charge of care.data programme

By Sooraj Shah
21 Jul 2014 View Comments
nhs

NHS England is on the hunt for a new director of intelligence to head-up the controversial care.data programme.

The organisation's current director of intelligence, Christine Outram, is stepping down from the role which she started in November 2012.

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NHS England claimed that the planned departure of Outram has led to the organisation seeking "an experienced leader with a passion for improving quality outcomes for patients through transparency and greater choice".

It adds that the job is for someone to lead a "world-class team of data and information professionals", requiring strong delivery and performance management skills to ensure the effective implementation of programmes such as care.data.

The new director will be responsible for promoting data transparency across the NHS to ensure accountability of services, but also to "enable choice and more informed decision-making by patients and citizens".

NHS England is looking for someone with "strong strategic leadership experience gained at a senior level probably - but not necessarily - in the wider public sector, the NHS or the voluntary sector".

Whichever sector the successful candidates comes from, they must demonstrate a good grasp of information governance and information standards, the organisation said.

Whoever does take over the role from Outram will have a huge job on their hands, as the NHS has been subject to an overwhelming amount of criticism from privacy campaigners, doctors and patients about the care.data programme.

The programme plans to extract patient record information from GPs surgeries to a centralised database, from where it could be sold to third-party organisations. This has led to criticism from campaigners who suggested that patients needed to be made more aware of how their data could and would be used.

The scheme was set to be piloted in February but was then postponed because of the criticism to start in the autumn to give patients "more time to learn about information sharing".

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