Two nurses chosen to help develop ‘new generation of NHS digital tools and services’

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Two nurses have been named as being among those chosen to spend a year working as “clinical informatics fellows” at NHS Digital, in a pioneering new role to boost the use of technology.

The four fellows, from a range of care settings and professions, are “pioneering a first of type opportunity”, said the national body NHS Digital.

“Technology is going to be fundamental for the future of nursing”

Joan Pons Laplana

It said the clinicians had begun a year’s fellowship that would see them use their experiences to “support the design of a new generation of digital tools and services for NHS staff and patients”.

The pair of nurses chosen are Joan Pons Laplana, a transformation nurse from James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Anthony Kenny, a specialist sexual health nurse from King’s College Hospital NHS Trust

The other fellows are Tommy Reay, a social worker from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Ira Goodman, an anaesthetic operating department practitioner from Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS Digital said the “unique experience” would allow for collaboration and two-way knowledge sharing between itself and the frontline, as well as increasing awareness of careers in clinical informatics.

During their year-long placement, it said the fellows will get the opportunity to work in both data and technology environments on a range of programmes, products and systems that support the continued provision of high quality patient care and the modernisation of frontline services.

They will also join forces with the two clinical leadership fellows taking part in a scheme run by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

Further cohorts could follow once the impact of the first group has been evaluated in the autumn, said NHS Digital.

New clinical informatics fellow Mr Pons Laplana, who has nearly 34,000 followers on the social media site Twitter, said: “Technology is going to be fundamental for the future of nursing and the whole of the NHS.

“The only way we can develop and continue to deliver goal-centred care is to empower patients and staff with digital platforms so that we can practice more forward thinking, preventative healthcare,” he said.

“Ultimately, these tools will help us deliver more effective and efficient services and I’m so excited to be a part of that,” he added.

Anne Cooper, chief nurse at NHS Digital, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the four new clinical fellows have started.

“They bring a completely new perspective to our organisation and great front-line experience, as well as lots and lots of creative ideas,” said Ms Cooper.

She added: “I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us and for them to take their data and technology learnings back to the front line to enhance their profession and delivery of care.”

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