Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the 2019 programme.

What is the Digital Pioneer Fellowship Programme?

The NHS Digital Pioneer Fellowship supports annually up to 30 ‘change makers’ employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation, that accelerate:

  • Growth in innovation adoption
  • Attainment of compelling business cases that drive year on year sustainability
  • Delivery of Impact
  • The fellowship is designed to Equip the fellows with new skills and knowledge (e.g. how to build good business cases, how to use Agile as a project delivery technique, how to structure a good evaluation, how to define and manage benefits realisation, change management principles etc). It is also designed to Inspire fellows by enabling them to hear about the art of the possible from others. The programme is designed to Connect fellows to like-minded peers, influencers in the system, and people who can mentor them.
Who is behind it?

DigitalHealth.London is a partnership programme delivered by the London’s three Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) – UCLPartners, Imperial College Health Partners and the Health Innovation Network, and Medcity. It is supported by NHS England (London) and the Mayor’s Office.

Who is eligible to apply?

The programme is aimed at NHS clinicians and healthcare professionals currently employed by an NHS organisation in London, from a range of NHS disciplines including Nursing; Medical; AHP; Operational, at any level who

  1. Are currently leading or significantly involved in delivering a digital transformation project within their organisation;
  2. Are recommended by their host organisation through a letter of support;
  3. Are able to confirm that this programme is in line with their professional development needs;
  4. Are able to commit to attending the 7 mandatory learning days
How long is the programme?

The programme lasts for 12 months, during which time fellows will be expected to attend 7 full days of learning plus additional ‘reflective learning’ time (estimated 2 hours per learning day). We also recommend that fellows allow another half day for further reading, learning or connecting with other fellows.

What subjects/ modules will be covered?

The following subjects are included within the scope of the programme:

  • Benefits articulation & management
  • Influencing (Marketing & selling ideas and visions)
  • Change Management
  • Design thinking
  • Agile delivery
  • Evaluation
  • Business Case development
  • Strategic influencing
  • Strategic Thinking
How much time will I have to commit to the programme?

You will need to allocate 7 full days to tuition with an additional 2 hours per learning day for your own reflective learning. We also recommend that fellows allow another half day for further: reading, learning, and connecting with other fellows.

What impact to we feel the fellowship will deliver?

Based on the insight interviews we have created an evaluation framework for the Fellowship identifying the areas of focus we believe will equip the Fellows to be impactful Digital Pioneers. This framework is also being used as the basis of the evaluation of the overall impact, with each Fellow undertaking a self-assessment at the beginning, at the midway point, and the end of the Fellowship.


How does the selection process work?

You will need to complete an application form. You will be asked to:

  1. Provide information about a current relevant project that would benefit from their participation on the programme;
  2. Describe their role within the context of the project;
  3. Confirm how the programme would meet their professional development plan needs,
  4. Describe any challenges that have been faced during the project to date and how they have been approached and/overcome, and
  5. Explain what they would hope to gain and contribute by participating on the programme.
What are the benefits to fellows?
  • Access to a peer coaching network
  • Capability building through taught modules on key topics
  • Problem solving through action learning sets
  • Growth in awareness with opportunities to hear from sector and domain expert speakers
  • 1:1 mentorship
What are the benefits to host organisations sponsoring the fellows?
  • Growth in teams better equipped to achieve innovation adoption that drives benefits realisation
  • Access to the latest knowledge and insights from the digital innovation world, ensuring your organisation stays one step ahead
When can I apply?

You can apply from Monday 3 December 2018 and the closing date is Sunday 20 January 2019 at midnight.

How long can fellows access support for?

Once fellows have graduated from the formal fellowship programme, they are invited to still stay connected with DigitalHealth.London and its AHSN partner organisations. The Academic Health Science Networks have a responsibility to support their respective ‘member’ NHS organisations where they can and will be happy open their doors to fellows seeking further support in accelerating their project progress.

Is there ever a circumstance where a fellow could be asked to leave the programme?

Failure to attend the mandatory learning days will result in the fellow being asked to reconsider the programme and where necessary, to leave the programme. Allowances are made, in exceptional circumstances for one missed day.

The reason for being quite strict about this, is that the time commitment on the programme is relatively small (7 days in a whole year) and there is a lot of content that is delivered in the 7 days. Therefore missing any part of this will greatly disadvantage the fellow, both in terms of learning but also in terms of the value that they gain from interactions with the other fellows, and vice-versa.

How much is it?

There are no cost implications to either the fellow or their host organisation for the fellowship programme. The only requirement is that the fellow MUST be employed by an NHS organisation and must provide a letter of support from their employer.

Do I have access to a mentor?

You will have the opportunity of choosing from a pool of mentors, who have been selected based on their seniority and level of expertise. The mentors will offer fellows opportunities for 1:1 dedicated time to explore an discuss challenges that the fellow may be experiencing.