Deputy Chair of NHS Improvement, Laura Wade-Gery has been appointed as Chair of NHS Digital and tasked to lead a review to determine the critical capabilities and digital operating model across NHS Digital, NHSX and NHS England and Improvement needed to drive the digitally enabled wider system transformation envisaged in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Ms Wade-Gery will succeed Noel Gordon on the completion of his four-year term from September 1, 2020. The appointment is for a seven-month term, during which time an open competition will be held to appoint a new, full-term Chair from April 2021.
Ms Wade-Gery joined NHS Improvement as a Non-Executive Director in August 2018. She has over 20 years’ business experience, including six years heading up multi-channel e-commerce at Marks & Spencer Group and 14 years in several senior roles at Tesco plc. She is also a member of the Government Digital Strategy Advisory Board.
The experience of dealing with COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of some technologies, such as video consultations, virtual meetings and contactless processes across the NHS. It has also highlighted the need for an integrated, consistent approach to digital solutions to unlock maximum benefit and operational efficiency and avoid a mismatch of ‘quick-fix’ measures that do not promote true long-term digital transformation.