Photo of Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson

Programme Director

As Programme Director, Sara leads the DigitalHealth.London team, overseeing the organisation’s long-term strategy and developing the strategic vision for all programmes, ensuring that DigitalHealth.London continues to stay on the forefront of digital innovation and empowers staff on the ground to drive change for patients and the public.

Sara qualified as a nurse over 27 years ago, at a time when digital technology played a minor role in her day-to-day work, but over time she recognised that when technology was brought in correctly and was well-designed with consideration of patients and staff, the benefits could be enormous. Sara became the first Senior Nurse for digital at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in 2015, where she was able to break down barriers between the tech teams and the clinical/ward teams.

In 2018, Sara became an NHS Navigator for the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme, which gave her the chance to make an impact at a regional level across London and provided her with greater insight into the health tech world. Sara then led the Accelerator programme as maternity cover, and within this role, she grew her understanding of the needs of the innovators and how this aligned with the NHS Trusts’ priorities, as well as how to support the system to make it easier for tech to be adopted by organisations.

In 2021, Sara was named Deputy CNIO for NHSX (now NHS England), during her time as Deputy CNIO, Sara was responsible for education leadership strategy portfolios and the development of leadership through national, regional, and local teams. She worked with her team to develop guidance for nurses in response to the national “What good looks like” framework and supported regional and local teams in implementing this.