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New HEE Digital Fellows spearhead the NHS Digital Revolution

17 September 2019

Health Education England has awarded 17 new digital fellowships to incorporate digital health expertise within their careers. The Topol programme for Digital Fellowships in healthcare launched today provides fellows with time and support to design and deliver digital health projects and initiatives in their Trusts and a programme of workshops and mentoring to stimulate and support fellows to lead digital health transformations for NHS staff and patients.

HEE has already invested £250k in this innovative programme and had a fantastic response with over 250 applications. The successful applicants were enthusiasts for service improvement via digital technologies and who are keen to improve the patient experience.

The Topol Review published earlier this year made several recommendations including the creation of these digital fellowships.  The Topol Review, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and led by cardiologist, geneticist, and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol, explored how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future. It made recommendations that will enable NHS staff to make the most of innovative technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics to improve services. These recommendations support the aims of the NHS Long-Term Plan, and the People Plan, helping to ensure a sustainable NHS.

Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation, Health Education England said:

“This will be an exciting opportunity for NHS clinical staff, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dentists, healthcare scientists, pharmacists and others, to shape and accelerate the NHS digital revolution.

The Topol programme for Digital Fellowships aims to support NHS organisations to invest in clinical staff to lead digital health projects and to develop specialist digital skills, while giving clinicians enough time outside of clinical commitments to dedicate to training for a digital future. “

Prof Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of HEE, said:

“The Topol Digital Fellowships in Healthcare will help to seed a new cohort of digital leaders by offering specific learning and opportunities to network with like-minded individuals and those at the forefront of this field.”

“This programme will complement the technology review being undertaken as part of the People Plan, which seeks to provide tools for board awareness and development. It highlights the need for the ‘tech family of roles’, such as informaticians and data scientists, while also building the leadership capacity through the digital academy and Topol Digital Fellowships. These fellows will play a vital role in helping to deliver the digital future and making the NHS the best place to work.”

Digital Fellows project quotes:

Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi, Nurse

“My project will utilise a cloud-based solution that includes a digitally enabled “smart clinical history” web-app, that will enable a specialist-level clinical history obtained by community nurses.”

Haris Shuaib, Healthcare Scientist

“The aim of my project is to improve MRI quality and capacity by implementing the first data-driven MRI service in the NHS using in-house developed machine learning and resident expertise in MR Physics, Clinical Computing and one of the highest throughput imaging services”

Monsey McLeod, Pharmacist

“My project will investigate electronic augmentation of prescribing feedback to improve medication safety and reduce patient harm. Specifically, the project seeks to improve routine capture, analysis and feedback of prescribing error-related data and facilitate communications on shared learning and associated medication error prevention actions to doctors, pharmacists, nurses, clinical managers and educators.”

These fellowships allow clinicians to combine their clinical training or current job with digital transformation work in their local host institutions. Applicants are encouraged to identify projects and supervisors at local employers or academic institutions. The academic content of the programme will offer learning in digital health, and an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are aspiring to be digital leaders.

One of the new Digital Fellows Matthew Alexander a Dermatology Registrar, will be helping launch the digital fellow programme at our public Board in London tomorrow.

Link to Fellows pages https://topol.hee.nhs.uk/topol-digital-fellowships/

Or http://bit.ly/TopolDigitalFellows

#NHSDigitalFellows #OurNHSPeople