University of Edinburgh to take part in setting up NHS Digital Academy

zoomed-in picture of doctor's coat

University of Edinburgh is joining forces with Imperial College London and Harvard Medical School to launch a NHS Digital Academy.

The NHS Digital Academy will provide specialist IT training and development support to 300 senior clinicians and health managers over a 12 month period.

It will be the NHS’s first ever nationally funded programme of world-class health informatics training.

New technologies

It will equip healthcare professionals with the skills to use new technology to improve the patient experience, and deliver service efficiencies.

Experts are developing 12-month, part-time training programmes for NHS staff. These will cover topics including leadership and transformational change, public attitudes to the sharing of data and responding to user needs.

Virtual organisation

A virtual organisation, the academy has been set up in response to observations made by Health IT expert Professor Robert Wachter that there is in the NHS “a lack of professionals – namely CCIOs and CIOs – that can drive forward the transformation agenda enabled by informatics and technology.”

Courses will mainly be delivered online but will also include a residential component and a workplace project.

World-class team

Plans to establish an NHS Digital Academy were announced by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, during a speech in 2016. Edinburgh, Imperial College London and Harvard Medical School have been selected to lead its development after a competitive tender process.

NHS Digital Academy Co-Director Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham said a world-class team has been assembled. The partner institutions have an unrivalled record of using academic rigour to translate ground-breaking research into digital health solutions.