The National Health Service (NHS) has always been committed to universal healthcare, irrespective of age, health, race, social status, or ability to pay.  Those values have not changed since its inception in 1948, but the world has. The whole of the healthcare sector and in particular the NHS must adapt to take advantage of exponential technology change.  Today that change manifests itself in digital transformation.  Successful technology can turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan but poor execution can leave you with a very expensive, very fast ugly duckling. It’s a problem that NHS Digital Academy CEO, Rachel Dunscombe, is only too aware of. “Technology is the only option for the NHS to make significant gains in productivity and safety,” she says.  “All other avenues will give marginal gains but not the major impact on our health and care system needs.”
Over the years, healthcare has seen as wide a divide between ‘IT’ and ‘the business’ as any vertical you care to name. Evidence from healthcare organisations often points to a lack of appreciation of each other’s issues at all levels so the solution needs to be top down.  Whether by Government-imposed constraints or lack of knowledge, the failure to leverage talent from outside the sector has led to many good ideas falling on stony ground and consequently failing to blossom.  It’s that very reason that the NHS Digital Academy was born.  The NHS Digital Academy is a virtual organisation set up to develop a new generation of healthcare digital leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS.  The NHS Digital Academy, through a partnership with Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, and Harvard Medical School, provides a year-long fully accredited learning programme (Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Health Leadership) for digital change leaders.
Dunscombe is

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