News in Brief: leadership programme for digital nurses, NHS apprenticeships, innovation ‘surgery’

Amid all of last week’s sporting action, HTN hit its own hat-tick of features with a focus on technologies supporting ICSs, including an article on the role of data and analytics, a how-to guide for choosing health tech partners, and a piece on the importance of change management.

As for news, we also took a closer look at the NHSX digital mental health playbook, covered a story on a new clinical data repository contract with Digital Health and Care Wales, and examined Scotland’s digital strategy.

Of course, there’s still more news to share, so catch up on the rest of the headlines below, in brief…

System C and Florence Nightingale Foundation develop digital nurse programme

The health tech software company System C is partnering with the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) to develop a leadership programme for early digital career nurses, allied health professionals, midwives and pharmacists.

The duo have joined forces to design a new training course for professionals embarking on a career in digital healthcare leadership. A bespoke programme which aims to prepare people in these roles for future leadership positions, it will include a focus on maintaining effective healthcare whilst embedding digital solutions into practice.

Dr Gemma Stacey, Director of FNF Academy, commented: “I’m delighted to be announcing this programme. If you are an aspiring digital healthcare leader, this is a very exciting opportunity to strengthen your ability to successfully influence and impact on digital change within your organisation.  

“The digital leads will need to educate and engage the wider healthcare workforce as part of their role, and it is important they understand and reiterate the need to embrace digital methods without losing touch with personal patient care.”  

For now, the Early Digital Healthcare Leadership Programme is open to System C customers only, primarily to its Clinical Digital Leads Network (CDLN) members. The company will sponsor eight participants for this year, and those selected will attend a delivered three-day, in-person course in London, between 5-7 October.   

The CDLN was created to provide ‘support, mentoring and knowledge sharing’ between digital lead nurses, allied health professionals, midwives and pharmacists across the company’s customer base

System C’s Medical Director, Dr Jonathan Bloor, said: “While working with the network, members identified a gap in formal training for early career digital leads and this is our response to help plug that gap.” 

The application and selection process will be independently managed by the Florence Nightingale Foundation. To express interest in the programme, apply through the Foundation’s form and dedicated page by 29 July 2021.   

Free places available on machine learning course with UoM

Free places are available on a new course from the University of Manchester (UoM) called ‘Machine Learning in Service Design and Delivery’.

Now open to applications, the course can offer 10 free places to registered professionals from any clinical discipline, including healthcare science, who have an active digital health project that the learning from the course can be applied to.

Part of a collaboration with Topol Digital Fellowship Programme, which has its places funded by Health Education England, the course will begin in September 2021.

Successful applicants must be available to attend a series of five live webinars across autumn and winter, as well as be able to dedicate additional online learning hours to the course.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 30 July 2021, or after 50 applications have been received. To find out more, click here.

Gemserv Health helps Liverpool Women’s trust with security platform

Germserv Health is supporting Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust protect its network with a software-defined segmentation approach.

The trust is using the Guardicore Centra Security Platform to protect servers running legacy operating systems. Proof of concept and roll-out at the trust is part of a wider cyber security programme being run by Gemserv Health for the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership (HCP).

Matt Connor, Chief Information Officer at Liverpool Women’s and cyber security workstream lead for Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, said: “The WannaCry cyber-attack in 2017 severely disrupted heath care services and exposed the need for additional cyber security investment to enable a strength in depth approach.

“As a Cyber Essentials Plus accredited organisation, cyber security is important and we strive to maintain that standard. We have some residual legacy systems, and placing robust security controls around them is essential. We had been working with Gemserv Health on a number of cyber security initiatives, so when they suggested the Guardicore product to provide application level segmentation, we agreed to run the proof of concept.”

Yorkshire and Humber AHSN launches Innovation Surgeries

Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (YHAHSN) has launched a new initiative that will see monthly Innovation Surgeries being held for SMEs and innovators, to help them meet – virtually – with members of the AHSN team.

The aim of the surgeries is to provide the YHAHSN with an opportunity to learn more about local companies and innovations, such as their stage of development and wider ambitions.

In return, as well as making introductions, innovators can seek further advice and signposting. The next surgery will be held on 24 August 2021. To register, email

NHS discount for new online course on global women’s health issues

There’s course news galore this week, with another online offering from academics at the University of Aberdeen set to explore global women’s health issues.

The 10-week course begins in January 2022 and, although you do not need to have a background in health or medicine to join, there is a 10 per cent discount for NHS staff.

Promoted as being of particular interest to GPs, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, and those that work in epidemiology, family planning, community healthcare, or the third sector, the course can also provide credits that will contribute towards Aberdeen’s Master’s degrees in public health, clinical nutrition, and global health and management.

The course will see participants study and investigate the factors affecting women’s health around the world, including the role of technology and digital innovation in women’s health, LGBTQ+ health inequalities, gender differences in medicine, women’s human and reproductive rights, global differences in fertility care, quality improvement in women’s care, and the effects of COVID-19 on women in developing countries.

Dr Alyaa Mostafa, Clinical Lecturer and Research Fellow at the University’s Institute of Applied Health Sciences, said: “This 10-week, postgraduate level course allows our students to better understand the global efforts needed worldwide to improve the health of women. We will explore how gender differences, inequality, women’s family roles, community and society support, and approaches to healthcare systems all play a role in women’s health and how these issues intersect with broader social and economic factors.

“With the help of expert health researchers and clinical academics, our students will learn how to analyse, monitor and improve healthcare for women and understand the barriers women face when seeking healthcare support, with the aim of improving women’s health outcomes globally.”

To find out more about the course, visit the dedicated site.

NHS HEE TEL Team migrates resources to the Learning Hub

NHS Health Education England’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team has now migrated around 1153 resources from the NHS eLearning repository to the beta version of its new Learning Hub.

The digital platform will enable the health and care workforce to contribute learning materials for others to use and to share resources among themselves. Staff can access the resources through the new hub, here

Health and Care Partnership launches new resource to encourage apprenticeships

A new online platform has been launched to highlight the wide range of NHS and local government apprenticeships available across health and care in the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Recognising that it can be difficult to find apprenticeship opportunities locally, organisations who are part of Healthier Futures, The Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System have created a new portal to make the process easier for people.

The portal will collate a range of opportunities, with qualifications ranging from GSCE level to Master’s degrees, as well as a mix of on-the-job training and classroom learning.

Mr Jonathan Fellows, Independent Chair of the Healthier Futures Partnership, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for local people to start building their future now, by finding the right apprenticeship role. Being a public sector apprentice means building your future with the right experience, right training, and right salary from day one within the NHS or local government.

“Right now, we have over 232 opportunities across our health and care partner organisations for people who are interested in an apprenticeship. The only age requirement is that you’re over 16 years old, so they’re great for people of any age who maybe want to change career and learn something new.”

Find out more, here.