Call out to NHS staff who are pioneering digital innovations within their organisations
Digital innovations have provided vital support and capacity to the NHS over the last few months and will continue to do so as the impact of COVID-19 continues, and the focus turns to resuming services. Today, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to its Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, supporting change makers employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. This year the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme is funded through sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd (BI)* – the programme content and delivery is controlled by DigitalHealth.London.
Now in its third consecutive year, the 12-month programme provides up to 30 Fellows with the opportunity to be part of an action focused learning community focussed on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations. The individuals taking part have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.
They will hear from and be given the opportunity to ask questions of leading sector experts during taught modules on subjects ranging from change management and business case development to agile delivery and service improvement. Fellows will also be able to choose a mentor and be grouped into action learning sets with other Fellows working in similar environments on digital transformation projects.
In the first year of the programme over 80 per cent of the Fellows surveyed cited positive gain, saying that they gained specific technical skills and/or had met an individual challenge thanks to the Fellowship. All Fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the Fellowship was of benefit to their career.**
Sara Nelson, Programme Lead, Digital Pioneer Fellowship, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges the NHS has faced and I have no doubt that the staff’s quick adaptation and uptake of digital innovations has been vital in enabling key services and care to continue over this period. As a nurse with over 25 years of service to the NHS, I appreciate how challenging digital transformation in the NHS can be if staff aren’t given the support, advice and time to develop professional skills that they need. I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”
Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, said: “We need to support the clinicians, service leads, managers and operational staff in our NHS who are at the heart of digital healthcare delivery with the tools they need to drive change in their organisations.
“The DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship provides them with these tools and I am thrilled it is opening for applications once again and look forward to witnessing the impact this next cohort of change makers have on London’s NHS.”
Nicola Reynolds, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, recently appointed Deputy Clinical Director for CYPMH at Health Innovation Network and 2019 Digital Pioneer Fellowship alumnus, said: “I wanted to develop my skills and knowledge in order to help drive the development and adoption of digital working within my organisation, so I applied to the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme. Having been successful in gaining a place, I was encouraged to think more strategically, and by doing so, I expanded the remit of my digital role. I recently contributed to a bid for funding from NHSX, we were successful in securing £200,000 to contribute to the development of a digital care pathway for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I found the Fellowship experience invaluable, both the formal teaching and the Action Learning Set groups. I was able to use the insights I gained from the Change Management session to arrange and deliver on an alignment conversation with the senior team. It had a significant impact on the project and led to my solution becoming incorporated into the Trust wide solution.”
Uday Bose, Country Managing Director UK & Ireland at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and NHS staff with a learning community and access to leading experts and mentors. Digital technology is a critical driver in accelerating our healthcare system, whether it’s progress in scientific innovation, sustainable healthcare or better ways to connect Health Care Professionals with their colleagues and patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to improving health, digital innovation is at the heart of delivering better value and care to patients. We are excited to champion NHS change makers who see the potential and benefit of digital transformation as they go about their day to day roles.”