In a keynote speech at the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology 2023 conference, John Quinn, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of NHS England, emphasized the need for delivering national architecture and standards as a top priority. Quinn, who took over the position in January, acknowledged the burden of legacy technology and the underinvestment in infrastructure that threatens the progress of the NHS. He highlighted that 40% of spending by integrated care systems is allocated to legacy infrastructure, limiting their ability to invest in transformation. Quinn expressed his mission to prioritize digital, data, and technology in transforming the NHS and stressed the importance of investing in the development and remuneration of the approximately 100,000 digital professionals in the public sector.
Quinn also discussed the need to foster a different relationship between the NHS England center and frontline. He advocated for incorporating the talent and expertise of frontline healthcare professionals into strategic decision-making processes. Quinn further addressed the issue of critical systems infrastructure, suggesting a shift away from running data centers in-house towards embracing cloud-based services and software as a service. He predicted upcoming challenges in technology and security and advised breaking up large digital investments into smaller, manageable portions to mitigate the risk of errors.
Overall, Quinn underscored the significance of national architecture and standards, digital transformation, investment in digital professionals, and closer collaboration between the center and frontline in advancing the NHS. He also emphasized the need to adapt infrastructure strategies and approach technology and security challenges with caution.