Katie Davis will step down as managing director for NHS Informatics by 1 September, according to an internal memo circulated to NHS Connecting for Health staff at the end of last week.
The memo, seen by eHealth Insider, says the director responsible for the day to day delivery of NHS programmes and services, Tim Donohoe, will take-over Davis’ role until CfH itself shuts at the end of March 2013.
Davis took over from Christine Connelly, the Department of Health’s director general of informatics and the NHS’ first - and possibly last - chief information officer, when Connelly stepped down in June last year.
She came to the DH on secondment from the Cabinet Office, where she had been executive director for operational excellence in the efficiency and reform group, which has been closely involved with the Open Data agenda.
In an exclusive interview with EHI last October, Davis indicated that her priorities were pursuing her predecessor’s ‘connect all’ policy as the National Programme for IT in the NHS wound down, and concluding a big piece of its unfinished business – the future of the local service provider deal for the North, Midlands and East.
A new deal with the LSP for these regions, CSC, appeared to be close in the spring, but was not signed.
The latest ‘standstill’ agreement between the company and the DH runs out on 31 August. If a new deal is not agreed by then, it seems likely that resolving the problem will fall into Donohoe's lap.
The memo provides further clarity on how CfH’s functions will be divided after its closure.
The programme’s national projects look set to move to the NHS Commissioning Board in Leeds, while CfH’s “delivery functions” will move to the ‘new’ and ever-expanding Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The NHS CB will develop strategies for “the future approach to the provision of GP IT and intelligence for commissioners”, in line with its decision to set up and host commissioning support services.
It will also appoint new senior responsible owners for strategic programmes, including NHS Choices, Choose and Book, the Spine and N3, and take forward the NHS information strategy by developing an implementation plan.
Meanwhile, Donohoe will oversee the transition of delivery services to the ‘new’ IC, with further plans being announced “in the summer”, while overseeing such unfinished NPfIT business as outstanding contracts and securing value from the projects delivered.
Chief executive David Nicholson is quoted in the memo as saying: “I would like to thank Katie for her dedication and professionalism to NHS Informatics.
"She has made a major contribution to the NHS, in promoting the sharing and management of information to support better patient care.”
Davis is quoted as saying that she was asked to do three things: to continue to deliver core IT services, to “resolve a number of critical commercial, financial and delivery issues”, and to develop a “national strategy for the delivery of information and IT support.”
She adds: “I could not be more pleased with what we, as a team, accomplished in the last year.
"We have made tremendous strides in resolving the long-standing issues of the past and moving towards a future where information and IT support the delivery of better patient care, rather than being an aim in themselves.”
In a Q&A section, the memo indicates that in future Davis “intends to focus on being a full-time mother to her two children.”
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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