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NHS launches review into digital readiness of nursing profession

26 May 2022

The NHS has launched a review into the digital readiness of its nurses and midwives.  

Led by Dr Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHS England, and International Vice-Chair Dr Jeanette Ives Erickson, The Phillips Ives Nursing & Midwifery Review aims to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforce is equipped to deal with future technological challenges.

It will call on evidence from across the nursing and midwifery workforce as well as wider professions within the NHS and from aboard.

The Phillips Ives Review builds on the work of The Topol Review, released in 2019, and will take around a year to complete.

The review’s findings will inform the NHS’s future digital strategy and will ensure that nurses and midwives are provided with the knowledge, skills and education required for safe, effective digitally-enabled practice.

The review will be conducted by Health Education England as part of its Digital Readiness Education Programme in partnership with NHS England.

Chair of The Review Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO), NHS England, said: "Nurses and midwives are often the face of the NHS for the public, looking after patients and their families at the happiest times in their life, such as the birth of a child, and at the some of the most difficult.

"As the NHS looks to the future and the increasing role played by digital and technology, it is important we ensure our nurses and midwives receive an education that will prepare them for the NHS of tomorrow."

Vice-Chair of The Review, Chief Nurse Emerita at Massachusetts General Hospital, Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Professor at the MGH institute of Health Professionals and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Dr Jeanette Ives Erickson said: “It is an honor to work with colleagues across the globe to advance nursing practice ensuring our discipline leads in the digital healthcare system of today and in the future.

“This is a focused review with four key principles that will influence the educational and care delivery systems for our future workforce, will inform strategy, enhance safety, and will embed efficiencies into systems of care delivery. A big and important initiative”

James McLean, Deputy Chief Nurse of Health Education England, said: “As we have already seen with The Topal Review, finding out the digital-readiness of staff working in the NHS is vital to ensure that the healthcare system can continue to implement new and innovative technologies that will improve patient care.

“This review will offer a tailor-made assessment of the opportunities to improve the digital skills and readiness of the nursing profession to meet these future challenges.”