NHSX

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Group.png NHSX  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
NHSX.jpg
FormationFebruary 2019
Membership• Matthew Gould
• Simon Eccles
• Tara Donnelly
• Hadley Beeman
• Kathy Hall
• Iain O'Neil
• Tim Donohoe
NHS user eXperience...

NHSX is a UK government organisation that was established in 2019 to drive digital transformation and lead IT policy across the National Health Service (NHS) by bringing together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement into one central unit, led by NHSX CEO Matthew Gould.[1]

In February 2019, Health Secretary Matt Hancock unveiled NHSX, saying:

"NHSX will combine some of the best minds from among the NHS, leading innovators and government into one unit to set national policy, remove red tape and create a culture of innovation to allow the best innovations to flourish."

Matt Hancock later added that the "X stands for user experience" and that NHSX had been set up for two reasons: to "bring together our tech leadership into one decision-making point" and "to bring the culture, the openness, the productivity, the speed of iteration of the Internet to the way we deliver tech in health and care."[2]

Responsibilities and aims

NHSX will oversee the IT strategy currently spread across multiple organisations. Its specific responsibilities are setting national policy and developing best practices for NHS technology, digital and data, enforcing IT standards, promoting interoperability, improving procurement, supporting new technologies, and developing digital skills and culture.

In April 2019, it announced a series of initial aims: delivering a new Internet-based technical architecture for all of health and social care; mandating internationally recognised technology and data standards across the NHS; and teaming up with NHS England's cancer and mental health policy teams to identify how technology could improve the patient experience. In May 2019, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced plans to upgrade all hospitals, GP practices and community care services to full fibre connectivity, which is intended to enable more video consultations and improve the speed of access to clinical information.[3]

Ten priority areas

In June 2019, NHSX completed its first major review of NHS tech spending, which resulted in cutting the 30 different digital transformation programmes run centrally by the NHS down to 10 priority areas:

1. NHS app and citizen ID

2. Digital child health and maternity

3. Integrating community providers (including pharmacists, optometrists, dentists and ambulances)

4. Screening

5. Booking, referrals and appointments management

6. Standards (including medication standards)

7. Primary care

8. Urgent and emergency care

9. Social care

10. Local capability (including LHCR, HSLI, GDEs and Carter money)[4]

Three delivery priorities

In a speech delivered on 12 June 2019, Baroness Blackwood, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, identified three delivery priorities for NHSX, which are "focused on how we can make things better for patients and staff as soon as possible". These priorities are:

  • cutting the amount of time that clinicians spend inputting and accessing data in NHS systems
  • making it easier for patients to access key NHS services on a smartphone
  • ensuring that essential diagnostic information can be accessed safely and reliably, from wherever a patient may be within the NHS.

Underlying these delivery priorities, she also noted that the technical priority for NHSX is the creation of a data-driven ecosystem.[5] It was announced in January 2020 that £40 million was to be dedicated to improving login times for staff, using single sign-on technology.[6]

One of the functions of the organisation is to manage the sharing of NHS patient data with industry.[7] In June 2019 Matthew Gould admitted that the target of a paperless NHS by 2024 would be "a stretch".[8] The target, first announced in 2013, has repeatedly been moved back from 2018, 2020, and 2023.[9]

COVID-19 contact tracking app

If a contact tracing app is centralised, then the data about who has been identified as having COVID-19 and the people they come into contact with is stored in a central database, and the decisions about whether someone is ‘at risk’ as a result of that contact is made on a central server.

If the app is decentralised, then the identification of contact with someone thought to have COVID-19 will happen on the phone itself and so there is no central database that can see all the people that someone had contact with.

Centralised approaches under consideration around the world include the UK’s NHSX contact tracing app, the Singaporean TraceTogether app, and the European PEPP-PT initiative.

Decentralised approaches include Apple and Google’s joint specification, currently being built upon in Germany and Ireland amongst others; the DP-3T protocol, under consideration in Switzerland, Austria, Finland and elsewhere; and the TCN protocol.[10]

EU Member States, supported by the European Commission, have developed an EU toolbox for the use of mobile applications for contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic.[11]

NHSX has developed a centralised contact tracking app to monitor the spread of COVID-19[12] and the first public trial of the NHSX app began on the Isle of Wight on 5 May 2020.[13] Craig Murray has written:

"Serious questions have to be asked about why the UK government has developed its own unique app, universally criticised for its permanent central data collection and ability to identify individuals from their unique codes. That this is overseen by NHSX CEO Matthew Gould who held all those secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty, including with Mossad, frankly stinks."[14][15]

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Civil Liberty Vanishesblog post6 May 2020Craig Murray"Serious questions have to be asked about why the UK government has developed its own unique app, universally criticised for its permanent central data collection and ability to identify individuals from their unique codes. That this is overseen by NHSX CEO Matthew Gould who held all those secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty, including with Mossad, frankly stinks."
Document:Senior spy appointed to lead UK’s joint biosecurity centreArticle5 June 2020Helen Warrell
Sarah Neville
Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, says: “The virus is not worried that you’re tracking its progress, it’s not going to change its tactic. Cybersecurity is not your worry with a virus. It’s a biological phenomenon.”
Document:Track and Trace. Stay Elite.Article29 May 2020David BlackPoor Dido was pressed into service early by Boris and the lads when she launched her Track and Trace initiative some days ahead of its scheduled June 1st slot in a ludicrously transparent attempt to draw fire from Corporal Cummings, whose lockdown breaching escapades were causing havoc in Tory ranks.
Document:Why the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app failedArticle19 June 2020Matt BurgessOn 18 June 2020, Matt Hancock announced that the planned centralised NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app, which has been trialled on the Isle of Wight and downloaded by tens of thousands of people, has been ditched in favour of a decentralised system developed by Google and Apple.


References

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