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Calling all digital health pioneers

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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.

This week, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to its Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, supporting changemakers employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. This year the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim (BI).

Sara Nelson, programme lead for the 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.”

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.

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.” 

Fellows will hear from and be able to ask questions of 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.

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 changemakers have on London’s NHS.”

The deadline for companies to apply is midnight Sunday 6 September 2020. For companies offered a place on the programme, support will begin in November 2020.

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