19th January, 2021

Sara Nelson, Deputy Programme Director of DigitalHealth.London and Programme Lead for the Digital Pioneer Fellowship has recently been appointed as the new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX. As a member of our host organisation, the Health Innovation Network’s senior leadership team, Sara joined the organisation’s COVID group and brought her knowledge of clinical and major incident management to support the team.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director of DigitalHealth.London, commenting on Sara’s appointment said: “We are incredibly proud of Sara’s recent appointment to this national role at NHSX. Although the whole team here at DigitalHealth.London will miss her support and experience, we know she will be able to make an even bigger impact on digital health within the NHS at NHSX.”

Sara Nelson, Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said: “I have loved every minute of my time at DigitalHealth.London where I was able to not only lead a fantastic team but also grow with them and learn so much. From working with some of the most exciting digital health companies on the Accelerator, to the truly inspirational NHS staff on the Digital Pioneer Fellowship, I recognise now more than ever, the importance of team work and utilising everyone’s skills to deliver real change through digital health.

“This new national Deputy CNIO role signifies the growing recognition of nursing and midwifery involvement in digital health. I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time. I am one of the many nurses and midwives who did not have computers or technology, as we now know it, when we started and I have seen real benefits to staff and patients, when technology is brought in correctly and is well designed with consideration of patients and staff. This has led me to move away from the traditional nursing leadership roles and towards increasing my understanding of technology and the commercial sectors – growing my knowledge of the barriers and opportunities we can elicit.”

Dr Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“Sara’s appointment by NHSX is another important milestone in the establishment of a strong nursing and midwifery digital leadership community – one which is vital to ensure a nursing and midwifery voice at all levels of digital transformation across the system. The breadth of experience and track record across digital innovation that Sara brings with her is outstanding and I am delighted to welcome her to the team”

Sara will take up her new role part time from  January and full time from March. She will continue to be involved in the Digital Pioneer Fellowship supporting the 37 NHS staff on the programme during 2021.