by Edward Qualtrough

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust CIO Richard Corbridge wants to create ‘a digital NHS Trust like no other’

Nov 28, 2017
CareersIT LeadershipIT Strategy

Richard Corbridge said that he wants to “make Leeds a digital trust like no other in the NHS” after starting his new role as Chief Digital and Information Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The 2017 CIO 100 leader had been in charge of the technology function at Ireland’s Health Service Executive since 2014, and started last week at the second largest NHS Trust in the UK.

“I’ve had a fantastic welcome to the Trust so far and look forward to meeting more teams in the coming weeks,” Corbridge said. “I’ve joined a committed team of IT professionals with an ambition to make Leeds a digital trust like no other in the NHS.

“My first task is to develop a 100-day strategy to harness the enthusiasm of teams here at the Trust and start to create an even bigger buzz around the potential for implementing integrated digital platforms for our hospitals.”

Chief Executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Julian Hartley, backed Corbridge’s aspirations.

“I’m delighted to welcome Richard to Leeds. His unique combination of experience, leadership and passion for technology will really drive forward our vision to create truly digital hospitals for our city,” Hartley said.

With a workforce of nearly 17,500, Leeds Teaching Hospitals provides care to more than a million people each year. The Trust houses a range of highly specialised services including the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, Leeds Children’s Hospital, the Yorkshire Heart Centre and the Major Trauma Centre. Surgeons at the Trust conducted the world’s first double hand transplant in 2016.

In August 2017 the Director General Tony O’Brien of the Irish health service praised Corbridge’s contribution in driving the digital and ehealth agenda in Ireland ahead of his departure for West Yorkshire.

“In his time with the HSE, Richard has made a very significant contribution to our reform agenda,” O’Brien said.

Jane Carolan has taken over the CIO post at HSE Ireland, and Corbridge wrote about the handover process and CIO succession planning for CIO UK earlier this month.

Under Corbridge the reputation of ‘digital’ in health in Ireland has improved leaps and bounds, he told CIO UK earlier this year. Upon being named the 2017 CIO 100 leader, Corbridge also remarked that it was time for CIOs step up and lead the charge of digital transformation at their organisations.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said that the region was “forging ahead to create a digitally-enabled city that helps to improve health and care”, including the Leeds Care Record, an integrated care record which enables clinical and care staff up to date information about patients across the care providers and between different systems.

Chief Digital and Information Officer at Leeds City Council, Dylan Roberts, was also a high-flyer in the 2017 CIO 100 and discussed his ‘city as a platform’ strategy with CIO UK earlier this year.

Earlier this year Corbridge penned an article for CIO UKabout the changing role of a digital leader, and said in a video interview at the 2017 CIO 100 celebration reception that despite industry differences, many challenges CIOs faced were similar.

“The biggest challenge in health, in the public sector, has to be the resources – both the budget and people to do the work,” he said. “Recruiting into the public sector competing with the big names to bring digital expertise, enthusiasm for digital, is challenging.

“The role of the CIO is so interchangeable across those verticals. You can move around and still be a digital change agent – and some of the skills, some of the needs, some of the problems are exactly the same.”