CHIME Boot Camp Gives Region in England a Head Start to Attain National Goal
Jane Dwelly – CHIME International Programs and Education
In January, England’s National Health Service (NHS), a tax-funded universal healthcare system serving 54 million people, published its agenda for the next 10 years. The NHS Long Term View sets out to enhance digital leadership of the NHS, in particular by expecting specific IT representation on the board of every NHS organization. This includes hospitals and integrated care systems. In the north of England the Yorkshire and Humber Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) already has a running start, thanks to its work with CHIME. It has become the first health economy in England to train 30 healthcare IT leaders to an internationally recognized professional standard.
CHIME was invited to give leadership training by host Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Over two weekends in 2018, the CHIME Healthcare CIO Boot Camp put students through a seven-part curriculum designed to develop skills of a successful healthcare IT leader. Taught for CIOs by CIOs, the boot camp also included mentoring, leadership assignments and the opportunity for students to examine their work/life balance.
The program exceeded participants’ expectations.
“When I was invited to join the CHIME boot camp, I wasn’t sure that I was at the right level to benefit from a course for CIOs,” said Samantha Atkinson, Digital Project Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals with 20 years of experience in the NHS. “The boot camp, though, opened up the way I think about networking, team building and relationships in the projects that I do and will do in the future.”
A total of 30 candidates from across the region representing Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities participated. To date, eight of those healthcare IT leaders have earned certification through CHIME’s Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) program. They include Rob Child, Digital Program Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, with 18 years’ experience in the NHS. “CHIME has been the perfect personal development opportunity to learn tools and techniques for thinking differently,” he said, adding that the knowledge and skills he now has will help him move the digital agenda forward in Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
“It is great to see many of the region’s excellent NHS and local authority health tech leaders recognized through the CHCIO qualification,” said Will Smart, CIO at NHS England and CHIME Board member. “Professional accreditation is fundamentally important to support our drive toward the goals of improving patient-centered care by further utilizing current and future technical innovations.”
The NHS Long Term Plan, published on Jan. 7, outlined the NHS agenda for the next five and 10 years. It included a commitment to expand the NHS Digital Academy to train tomorrow’s healthcare IT leaders. The report states:
“We will expect informatics leadership representation on the board of every NHS organisation, with chief executives capable of driving the transformation of their organisations and non-executive directors able to support and demand increasing digital maturity over the next five years. We will increase training in digital capabilities for the health and care workforce and focus on attracting excellent technical expertise and skills, particularly in ‘newer’ digital fields so that our workforce can continue to deliver our technology strategy.”
CHIME’s educational and professional development programs align with the NHS Long Term Plan’s goals. “Advancements in Digital, home assistive technology, machine learning with AI, all have shown more than ever that the NHS has wonderful opportunities for Digital to assist in patient-centered care,” said Richard Corbridge, a CHIME faculty member and CIO for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. “Having so many of our digital team across the region able to complete the Healthcare CIO Boot Camp here at Leeds and be successfully accredited is testament not only to the existing skills we have, but the dedication across the region to continuous development of Digital health for citizens’ healthcare.”