Katie Davis to leave Connecting for Health

Managing director for NHS informatics to step down ahead of Connecting for Health closure next March

Katie Davis is to step down as managing director for NHS informatics at Connecting for Health, which will close at the end of March 2013. The Department for Health (DH) said that an exact date for her departure had not yet been set.

The department said there will be a hand over period in which Davis will continue to support Tim Kelsey, who started his role as the national director for patients and information in the NHS Commissioning Board earlier this month.

Davis took over from Christine Connelly, the DH’s director general of informatics, in June 2011.

David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive said that Davis has made a “major contribution” to the NHS, in promoting both the sharing and management of information to support better patient care and outcomes.

A DH business plan for informatics says that a single organisation, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), will be responsible for delivering national information services and IT systems.

“By April 2013 we will have reached our goal of a new design for informatics and transition to a new organisational structure to deliver services and support that is aligned with the new structures being developed across the NHS and within the department,” the document says.

Appointments to key leadership roles within the HSCIC’s IT systems delivery function will be underway by the late summer.

According to the DH, having just one body responsible for IT services will enable policymakers in the department and the NHS Commissioning Board to deliver outcomes through a single delivery organisation, with the board acting as a lead commissioner on behalf of the health and care service.

The department said that it will be easier to develop and design national information and IT systems by working closely together under one roof with single management and governance in place.

Victor Fraga, senior health analyst at market intelligence firm Kable, said: “Since 2007 Connecting for Health has been progressively stripped of its functions, so that its closure has been expected. Davis stepping down was also a predictable step in the process.

“Unlike Connecting for Health, the HSCIC will not be aligned to the NPfIT and will be able to focus on new, more localised IT initiatives.”

The DH also said that the NHS has saved £1.5bn since last year through measures which included cutting spending on wasteful IT projects.

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