NHS Digital appoints new chief nurse

NHS Digital has announced the appointment of Jo Dickson as its new Chief Nurse.

Jo joins NHS Digital from Nuffield Health, where she held the role of Clinical Informatics Director and Chief Clinical Information Officer.

Previously she held roles at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as the Lead Nurse Informatics and Chief Nurse Information Officer. In this role she was responsible for providing specialist clinical nursing expertise to support the implementation of the informatics strategy at the trust, informing policy and plans to deliver solutions, facilitate integration, playing a day to day role in developing an electronic patient record, and supporting the development of the Leeds Care Record.

Jo commented on the news: “I’m very excited to be joining NHS Digital, having observed the work during the last year in delivering digital services to support clinicians and citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m also looking forward to bringing digital priorities to the wider Chief Nurse Information Officer agenda.”

The appointment follows the recent announcement of Sarah Wilkinson stepping down as the Chief Executive of NHS Digital, and the appointment of Simon Bolton as the interim CEO. Simon joins NHS Digital from his role as Chief Information Officer at Test and Trace, a position held since August 2020.

In other recent NHS Digital news, the organisation has published primary care statistics on COVID-19 patients for the first time. This formed part of its new ‘Coronavirus as Recorded in Primary Care’ publication, which includes the number of people in England recorded by GPs with either a positive COVID-19 test or with COVID-19 symptoms, displayed over time, between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Wales Government has also recently announced a new Chief Nursing Officer, Sue Tanka, the former Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England & Improvement, has been appointed.