Health Education England has awarded 17 new digital fellowships to incorporate digital health expertise within their careers.
The Topol programme for Digital Fellowships in healthcare provides fellows with time and support to design and deliver digital health projects and initiatives in their Trusts. There’s also a programme of workshops and mentoring to stimulate and support fellows to lead digital health transformations for NHS staff and patients.
Professor 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.”
HEE has already invested £250,000 in the programme and saw a response of over 250 applications.
The Topol Review published earlier this year made several recommendations including the creation of these digital fellowships. The Topol Review, commissioned by the secretary of state for health and social care and led by cardiologist, geneticist, and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol, explored how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future.
It made recommendations that aims to allow NHS staff to make the most of innovative technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics to improve services.
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. “