by Mark Chillingworth

London CIO Council – Leading the capital’s healthcare IT

Sep 16, 2015

The London CIO Council is an association for health sector CIOs in the UK capital. Mark Large became Chairman at the beginning of 2015, taking over the role from close friend James Thomas, formerly CIO of UCLH, to move into the vendor world.

Since Large took on the chairmanship, the London CIO Council has hosted the largest meeting in London Health Care. It was attended by CIOs and CCIOs of every London Trust, representatives of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and Commissioning Support Units (CSUs), NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). London CIO Council meetings regularly attract more than 30 attendees, sharing experiences, hearing talks both from the membership and from external parties on issues such as mobility, interoperability and the impact of digital on health.

The London CIO Council is fully engaged with the London Interoperability Programme, a plan to create real time access to health information, jointly chaired by Jane Barnacle, Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for NHS England and Terry Huff, SRO for the London CCGs, building a federated model that joins the work of the 24 existing healthcare information exchanges. The programme, which is part of the Healthy London Partnership, backed by the 32 CCGs aims to deliver a citizen-centric design that connects up London health information. Key topics being addressed by the programme include identity management, consent, record location and the definition and use of standards which offer the citizen greater control of and access to their own information.

“This isn’t about replacing what people have at present, but about creating the framework for those existing and developing systems to be fully utilised no matter where in London someone is resident. This work may well prove useful more widely outside of London when shown to be successful,” explains Large.

Mike Part, the architect for the London Programme says: “The opportunity is to move rapidly from paper to data and to provide people with the tools that allow them take a bigger role in co-ordinating their own care. We have to remove the artificial boundaries and get data moving to where it is needed.”

The London CIO Council is rising to the ongoing challenge the health and social care system faces in supporting the citizen to have control of their health and care through accurate up to date information to which they can contribute. Working across so many organisations is difficult, each with their own needs and delivery programmes. Peer support and collaboration provides the best chance to deliver.

Dr Leon Douglas, Head of Technology and Clinical Information at the Health Innovation Network/South London CLAHRC says: “The level of willingness to collaborate, as demonstrated by the London CIO Council, has been really heartening to see; especially given how busy members of the London CIO Council are. The challenges we collectively face and the opportunities for technology to transform what our organisations do for the better, what we are doing now feels right for everyone.”