Health Education England announces 17 new digital fellows

Health Education England has awarded 17 new digital fellowships to incorporate digital health expertise within their careers.

The Topol Review published earlier this year made several recommendations including the creation of these digital fellowships. Led by cardiologist, geneticist, and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol, he explored how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future.

It made recommendations that will enable NHS staff to make the most of innovative technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics to improve services.

The Topol programme for Digital Fellowships in healthcare launched today to provide fellows with time and support to design and deliver digital health projects and initiatives in their Trusts and a programme of workshops and mentoring to stimulate and support fellows to lead digital health transformations for NHS staff and patients.

HEE has invested £250k in the programme and 250 people applied to join this year.

Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation, Health Education England said “This will be an exciting opportunity for NHS clinical staff, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dentists, healthcare scientists, pharmacists and others, to shape and accelerate the NHS digital revolution.”

“The Topol programme for Digital Fellowships aims to support NHS organisations to invest in clinical staff to lead digital health projects and to develop specialist digital skills, while giving clinicians enough time outside of clinical commitments to dedicate to training for a digital future.”

Prof Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of HEE, said “The Topol Digital Fellowships in Healthcare will help to seed a new cohort of digital leaders by offering specific learning and opportunities to network with like-minded individuals and those at the forefront of this field.”

“This programme will complement the technology review being undertaken as part of the People Plan, which seeks to provide tools for board awareness and development. It highlights the need for the ‘tech family of roles’, such as informaticians and data scientists, while also building the leadership capacity through the digital academy and Topol Digital Fellowships. These fellows will play a vital role in helping to deliver the digital future and making the NHS the best place to work.”

Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi, Nurse, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, one of the 17 fellows “My project will utilise a cloud-based solution that includes a digitally enabled “smart clinical history” web-app, that will enable a specialist-level clinical history obtained by community nurses.”

“I am delighted to have received this fellowship and I am excited about what I can bring to the role. When considering how to make digital transformation a reality in the NHS, a key enabler for this is nurses. We are by far the largest clinical workforce in the NHS with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Early and prolonged engagement with key nursing stakeholders in NHS organisations is crucial to facilitate a digital transformation plan.”

Haris Shuaib, Healthcare Scientist “The aim of my project is to improve MRI quality and capacity by implementing the first data-driven MRI service in the NHS using in-house developed machine learning and resident expertise in MR Physics, Clinical Computing and one of the highest throughput imaging services”

Monsey McLeod, Pharmacist “My project will investigate electronic augmentation of prescribing feedback to improve medication safety and reduce patient harm. Specifically, the project seeks to improve routine capture, analysis and feedback of prescribing error-related data and facilitate communications on shared learning and associated medication error prevention actions to doctors, pharmacists, nurses, clinical managers and educators.”

Find more information on the fellows here.