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NHS tech leader departs for digital GP service

Hands baton over to Health Innovation Network chief

Juliet Bauer is to leave her role as NHS England’s chief digital officer to join LIVI, an app delivering video primary care consultations across Europe.

Bauer

Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer, NHS England

Bauer takes up a global product role at LIVI, which is part of a wave of new 'digital doctor' providers competing to offer healthcare systems worldwide new virtual consultations and other patient services.

She said: "I am delighted to be joining LIVI at such an exciting time for digital health. Technology has the power to deliver a step-change in clinical care and patient experience. I am looking forward to helping LIVI expand their outstanding service to deliver on the NHS' Long Term Plan, as well as supporting their growth globally.”

Bauer has led the expansion of NHS England’s digital tools for the patient and public for the past two and a half years, working on digital transformation portfolios such as ‘Empower the Person’.

That initiative was launched in February last year, and aims to improve the NHS' digital offerings, including its website and 111 service. The NHS has also made progress on providing free WiFi in GP practices and is developing the NHS App.

Since its launch three months ago, the NHS claims the app has delivered thousands of appointments to patients, with 95% of consultations directly replacing a physical appointment.

Bauer's departure comes just days after the NHS published its digital innovation heavy, Long-Term Plan, which includes plans to ease pressure on services and improve patient experience by adopting digital platforms. In primary care, the plan has a milestone so that by 2023/24, every patient in England will be able to access a 'digital first' primary care service.

NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens estimates that the switch to digital consultations could save the NHS £1 billion per year, avoiding up to 30m physical visits to primary care.

LIVI, which is already working with the NHS, has said it is committed to supporting the ambitions within the long-term plan and its 2023/24 goal of offering video GP appointments.

Luke Buhl-Nielsen, Country Director of LIVI UK said: "We are incredibly excited to have Juliet join the LIVI team. Her unrivalled experience within NHS England and the wider Health and Social Care Digital Transformation programme during a period of unprecedented change is invaluable as we work alongside the health service to deliver a digital vision for primary care and transform outcomes for patients everywhere".

Meanwhile, Tara Donnelly, who is currently chief executive at Health Innovation Network, will become the new interim chief digital officer for NHS England.

Tara Donnelly

Tara Donnelly, CEO, Health Innovation Network

Bauer wrote on Twitter that she was “really delighted to hand the baton” over to Donnelly.

Twitter

Donnelly has long been an advocate of harnessing innovation within healthcare, and said she was looking forward to joining the team.

It is clear that the progress towards a digital first future is a mammoth task, requiring millions of pounds investment and a huge allocation of resources and leadership. This is not just in building a patient-facing digital infrastructure, but also in linking this with the huge scale and diversity of the NHS' legacy IT systems. Health secretary Matt Hancock has prioritised digital and tech solutions since taking up his role last year, but a recent HSJ estimate of digital plans suggested NHS budgets won't stretch to meeting all the service's ambitions.

Article by
Gemma Jones

15th January 2019

From: Healthcare

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