by Edward Qualtrough

Plusnet CIO leaves to join NHS Commissioning Support Unit

Mar 20, 20143 mins
CareersGovernmentIT Leadership

Mark Dundon is leaving his role at Plusnet to take up a new post as CIO for the NHS West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit.

The CSUs are an NHS initiative in England set up in April 2013, their mission to bring together local knowledge, expertise and specialist skills “to help clinical commissioners achieve great outcomes in commissioning healthcare” while allowing maximum investment in frontline healthcare services.

Dundon, who wrote a guest article for CIO UK at the end of last year about challenges facing the telecoms industry and how the CIO can help organisations navigate these pressures, said that he was sorry to be leaving the telecoms industry but that sentimentality and the transformational opportunity in healthcare had swayed his decision.

“It’s quite a step change to go from a really fast-paced telco,” Dundon said. “There was a lot of technical transformation and success around that and telco is a market place I would like to go back to in the future.

“But there were a number of reasons to move; the first being an emotional connection. I have twin girls who are 10 years old now, and they were treated at Sheffield Children’s Hospital when they were seriously ill a number of years ago and I thought at the time I always wanted to give something back at some point during my career.

“But it’s also an opportunity to make a real difference, lots of legacy that can be streamlined – it’s almost greenfield with its potential to rationalise.”

Dundon told us that he would be inheriting a team of around 250 across the whole IT spectrum, from business intelligence, project management, software development, network, and data centre engineers to IT and desktop support.

Sheffield native Dundon will sit on the board of directors and report to the managing director, and joins with a finance director who also moves from the finance sector.

While the new CSUs will initially be hosted by the NHS Business Support Agency, the long-term aim is that they ‘externalise’ and move towards self-sufficient, independent status by 2015. This social enterprise model was one which appealed to Dundon.

“As part of the NHS reforms it gives CSUs an opportunity to be commercially competitive, to be private and become a social enterprise.

“We have that roadmap to privatise, but if we can really make a difference by being lean we can help drive efficiencies in the NHS and ultimately benefit front line patient care.”