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NHS England Digital Boss Tim Kelsey Resigns

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Move to the sun. Digital boss at NHS England is standing down and heading down under

Tim Kelsey, the national director for patients and information at NHS England, has resigned just weeks after he revived the NHS plan to ditch the use of paper within England.

Kelsey will leave his post at the end of December, and has been with NHS England since 2012, after he completed a one-year stint as executive director of transparency and open data at the Cabinet Office.

Kelsey was the man in charge of a number of NHS initiatives, including the controversial scheme, which a government watchdog said in June was “unachievable” in its current form.

NHS Resignation

Tim-KelseyBut Kelsey (pictured left) was also in charge of other projects, such as making digital records accessible to patients via their smartphones or laptop. Indeed, in April England became the first country in the world to enable citizens to book online appointments with their GP, order prescriptions and access their medical records.

“It has been an enormous privilege to work with such talented and committed colleagues at NHS England and across the wider health and care service,” said Kelsey. “Together we have made the case for a digitally-enabled NHS in which patients are encouraged to participate. Over the last three years we have made significant progress on turning that aspiration into reality.”

“The decision to leave has been one of the hardest I’ve made but I’m going to fulfil an ambition that will come as no surprise to those who know me well – to develop next generation digital services for patients and professionals that I hope will help all of us take more control of our health and care,” he said.

“Over the past three years Tim has brought his infectious energy and creative expertise to the vital drive for open, transparent and technology-enabled health services,” said Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England.

“It’s no surprise that other countries now want to emulate that success, so as the NHS moves into the implementation phase of the strategy Tim has helped craft, we wish him every success as he shifts gear to working in Australia and internationally,” said Stevens.

Kelsey will be based in Australia and will work in the private sector, where he will take up the post commercial director at Australian health company Telstra Health in July next year, after a six month ‘cooling off’ period.

There he will lead development of new digital and mobile solutions for patients and healthcare professionals.

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