Here’s a complete breakdown of each of our nominees, showcasing their achievements and why they’re valued by the Networks community. You can also click here to return to the Awards hub.

CCIO of the year – Sponsored by Sectra

Chok, Shera

Shera Chok

Deputy CMO, NHS Digital;
and Chair of the Shuri Network

Impact: Shera is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Digital and a champion for safety, diversity and inclusion. She started and chairs the Shuri Network, the first national network for BAME women in digital health as she is passionate about helping the NHS implement digital transformation successfully and enabling women from under-represented groups to thrive and succeed. As one of a handful of BAME women in senior leadership positions in digital health, she understands the significant challenges faced by women in this sector and is determined to help change this. Her motto is “If I can do it so can you.

At NHS Digital, she provides senior clinical input into national digital programmes including the Covid vaccinations and test programmes, helping to strengthen clinical governance and deliver services that have an impact on millions of people. In a short time, she has had a positive impact on building relationships and communication which are central to the successful delivery of complex programmes.

She has advised the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and NHS England on digital inclusion and embedding tech advancements made during COVID-19, and on NHS service redesign as a clinical member of the NHS Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

Innovation: As the CCIO in Derbyshire Community Health Services from 2016-2018 Shera helped to lead the implementation of the EPR/ E-prescribing rollout across 13 community hospitals, working closely with nurses, AHPs, informatics teams and doctors to solve problems, provide training and empower clinicians. By listening and acting as a bridge between informatics and clinical teams she was able to unblock barriers and build clinical buy-in and support for the project. As a result, the project was implemented safely and successfully.

She also developed digital clinical champions within the trust and a cross-organisational Derbyshire CCIO network to support the STP to deliver its digital objectives. She used technology to enable the redesign of outpatient services with acute and primary care colleagues, sharing and gaining support for the virtual renal outpatient model from East London with colleagues in Derbyshire in 2017. At Barts Health where she was the Director of Primary Care from 2010-2016, she was instrumental in gaining CCG support for this model of system-wide shared patient records that has cut waiting times for a consultant opinion from around 70 days to 5 days. With remote working now the norm and a focus on recovery this approach has demonstrated improvements in outcomes, efficiency, and safety.

Inspiration: Shera has inspired colleagues, members, and allies of the Shuri Network by sharing her journey, highlighting role models, creating opportunities and by demystifying tech careers. She mentors and supports BAME women who are trying to progress in digital careers and is helping to influence change in workplace culture across the country.

By creating and delivering the vision for the Shuri Network, bringing together a multi-talented team and working with allies in HEE, Digital Health, NHSX, NHSD and the private sector she has gone above and beyond her role as a digital leader.

Other material:
Shera has used her experience as a CCIO and BAME woman and has overcome challenges including bullying and harassment to help inspire other women and to create opportunities for them to share their journeys, take their next steps in digital health and create a powerful movement for change.

The Network has:
• Grown its membership to over 1300 women and allies
• Awarded bursaries to 25 women to join the Faculty of Clinical Informatics with a further 30 this autumn
• Highlighted BAME role models in health technology
• Appointed a Student Ambassador who led a survey to explore views of BAME students.
• Collaborated with Digital Health, the Health Foundation, Coders of Colour, student groups and others to promote digital careers
• Launched a virtual shadowing programme with 65 offers for members
• Been invited to join the national Race and Health Observatory Data and Digital group
• Started a unique Fellowship programme for BAME nurses with NHSE

Feedback received:
“Thank you for everything you have done. Your calm measured way of crossing the divide across primary and secondary care has been brilliant and so many of the achievements you list as ‘we’ could not have happened without your hard work and dedication.” Sir Sam Everington, CCG chair

“What an amazing group!” Navina Evans, HEE

“A real pleasure to be amongst inspiring BAME women and to celebrate the remarkable success of the Network a year on!” Sonia Patel, NHSX

“”The Shuri Network shadowing programme has provided an uncommon and unique opportunity that may otherwise have eluded most!” M Hopkins, Shuri member

“Happy birthday to Shuri! A brilliant network.” Prerana Issar, NHSE.

“Thank you for always being a delight and inspiration.” Shuri member

Further reading:

Hill, Andrew

Dr Andrew Hill

CCIO and Stroke Consultant,
St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust

Dr Andrew Hill provides clinical leadership which inspires both the clinical and technical teams to drive forward development and implementation of our electronic patient record. Dr Hill is at the forefront of the Trust Digital Aspirant Programme which is delivering improvement at pace to enhance patient and staff experience when participating in healthcare services at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the wider health economy.

Dr Hill is a true champion for innovation, providing a constant stream of creative ideas for continuous improvements to patient care. Dr Hill championed the development and implementation of Telehealth initially for stroke follow up patients. Connecting a patient via a video consultation is an invaluable way of reducing their travel time, putting less strain on their recovery and helps clinicians to assess how patients are coping in their home environment rather than after a sometimes strenuous and tiring journey into the hospital.

Dr Hill is a skilled communicator who influences his peers to develop new and better ways of working to identify deteriorating patients and lead to safer patient care. Dr Hill has demonstrated this through his leadership implementing CareFlow Connect, a mobile clinical communication tool which is used for clinical handover, Covid Alerts and viewing and acknowledging diagnostic test results.

Dr Hill has time for all clinical and non –clinical colleagues within our trust as well as other trusts and organisations to promote digital solutions and offer guidance.

Dr Hill shares best practice throughout the NHS, presenting at several conferences and workshops to showcase digital innovation despite his many clinical commitments as a stroke consultant.

Other material:
Dr Hill spoke at the Digital Rewired conference in March 2021 and at Digital Health summer school in July 2021

Dr Hill also pushes the digital agenda at Clinical Director Forum to promulgate best practice amongst his peers and showcase new developments, continually raising and maintaining awareness and enthusiasm.

Dr Hill has clinically led the implementation of paper free vital observation and assessments for hospital wide inpatient observations for monitoring unwell patients including the rapid escalation of unwell patients to the right team for swift attention and treatment. These assessments include National Early Warning Score, Fluid Balance, Dementia & Delirium, Nutrition, CPE, Maelor, Moving & Handling, Falls and Urinalysis. Over 2000 clinicians and nurses have moved off paper for observations.

Dr Hill has clinically led the implementation and clinical adoption of a mobile clinical communication solution, CareFlow Connect. This communication tool facilitates medical and surgical handover to specialist team through the emergency department. Connect is also used for Nursing handover and combined with medical handover over 30,000 electronic handovers are completed per month: leading to signification clinical time saving, with early indications stating a reduction of 20 minutes off a ward round. Other benefits include time saved viewing results, medications, allergies, alerts, diagnoses and prescriptions. Results are viewed and acknowledged on CareFlow Connect. Covid alerts are notified in real time.

In his role as a stroke consultant and CCIO, Dr Hill led the development and implementation of the Trust’s award-winning Cinos; Refero Telehealth solution. The six-month Stroke Review Service aimed to see more patients in their home or care home, reducing the significant number of travel miles for patients requiring specialist treatment and enable consultations to be delivered remotely via telemedicine.

Further reading:

Phillips, Debbie

Dr Debbie Phillips

CCIO & Consultant Surgeon
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie Phillips has been proud to provide clinical leadership to the IT and informatics team at Milton Keynes University Hospital in her role as CCIO, where she championed the use of the Cerner Millennium EPR eCARE since initial go-live in 2018. This involved her leading the clinical engagement from initial design and build sessions, training, go-live support and subsequent post go-live optimisation. Debbie produced training videos, run eCARE masterclasses and undertook one to one coaching sessions utilising Cerner Advance data / benchmarking.

Debbie took physician architect training which gave her a detailed understanding of what is possible – vital when acting as the bridge between clinicians and IT professionals, but this enabled her to lead on optimisation projects and even build entire workflows. Debbie has championed the use of data from eCARE to monitor patient care, drive adoption of best practice and inform clinical decision making in the organisation and she mastered the use of Microsoft’s power BI to create intuitive dashboards and reports for clinicians.

Debbie has been a firm advocate of the importance of mobile working be that on site or remotely. Trust systems are available securely on both personal devices and trust managed mobile devices. App versions are both our EPR and other systems such as PACs are available to all appropriate users, with Office 365 and MFA rolled out completely across the organisation as key enablers.

Appropriate information sharing is also key and Debbie constantly looks for opportunities to extend the reach of their Health Information Exchange and are one of only 2 UK trusts to allow access to health records with Apple Health.

Through the pandemic Debbie opened the eyes of the organisation to the power of real-time data from the EPR. Initially this proved vital for monitoring the number of covid cases in the organisation, their whereabouts etc but over time has expanded to provide increasing detail. Over the last 4 months through Debbie’s efforts, this learning has enabled the building of dashboards for nursing assessment completion rates and most recently discharge planning dashboards.

Debbie has also completed cohort 2 of the NHS Digital Academy and this year been elected to Digital Health’s CCIO advisory panel.

Debbie has been keen to share our learning and have presented examples of the above at Cerner, at the HealthCare Managers forum, and most recently the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.

Other material:
1. Debbie built and published clinicians results endorsed report which has seen results endorsement at our unit rise from 37% to 80% with some departments reaching 90%.

2. Debbie designed and published oxygen dashboard from combination of EPR and separate power-BI app to facilitate successful oxygen stewardship during the second wave of covid.

3. Debbie has also recent designed, built and published inpatient dashboards for senior nurses to highlight safety assessment completion rates, triggering of appropriate care plans and completion of associated triggered tasks. This has resulted in the highest completion rates the chief nurse has ever seen.

Singh, Sid

Sid Singh

CCIO and Consultant Urologist,
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

Sid has been involved in increasing digital maturity for the last 4 years and has managed to develop a strong team of 10 clinical informaticians from a single trust – with 3 of them being enrolled on the NHS digital health leadership course. His leadership skills are exemplary.

Sid has also set up a clinical informatics working group at George Eliot to plan and implement projects.

“Sid Singh is our Chief Clinical Informatics Officer – we feel an exemplar to all CCIOs in UK. He has single handedly created the foundation stone for the first academic department of Clinical Informatics in UK and maybe the first in the world in a small district hospital like George Eliot Hospital.

He inspires by leading from the front, being a role model and places the interests of his clinical informatics fellow consultants and nurses before his own.

He has now created a cohesive and close knit team of 10 medical consultants in Clinical Informatics which are functioning as a strong Clinical Informatics multi-disciplinary team and is using the funding from an imminent EPR implementation to empower these clinicians with time in their job plans. He has not only seeded highest interest of clinical informatics in all of the digital leads who are currently digital champions in their own departments. They are further sources of inspiration for their fellow colleagues and driving the digital transformation campaign at GEH. The credit goes to the mentor, Sid Singh.

He has been instrumental in training and coaching fellow consultants, Advanced Clinical Practitioners, Nurses and a Clinical Radiographer in clinical informatics and as a result three, including himself are the proud recipient of the NHS Digital Academy prestigious PG Digital Health Leadership programme. Others are busy doing training in Coursera on the John Hopkins and Minnesota Clinical Informatics programmes and getting to ready to become one of the cohorts of coming NHS Digital Academy.

He has driven the AI agenda and partnered with his consultant colleague – Deputy CCIO to win the AI Skunkworks award and GEH is now racing ahead with AI projects which are funded and is now busy to try and implement this. To achieve this he has been instrumental in coaching a senior clinical radiographer who will be in the very first AI apprenticeship programme run by Health Data Research UK and Cambridge Spark making GEH the only District Hospital in UK to have their very own clinical data scientist.

He has pioneered the curriculum and workplace teaching of BSc Digital Health Students and made his colleagues as faculty at Institute of Digital Health, Warwick University.

He has been active in research and has had success in 4 publications in the last 4 years and plans to make each and every consultant colleague in Clinical Informatics at GEH to co-author and contribute to research in Digital Health.

He is on the national Core Competency Framework workgroup of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics where he is championing Clinical Informatics as speciality in its own right in UK.

And all this, he combines with a full time Clinical Urology job as there has not been enough backfill available in a small hospital of George Eliot Hospital.

In summary, Sid Singh has excelled at leadership, coaching, teaching and research and contributing to the speciality of Clinical Informatics at a national level.”

CIO of the year – Sponsored by InterSystems

Avery, Toby

Toby Avery

Chief Digital Information Officer,
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust

Toby is no ordinary CIO. His empathetic, compassionate leadership approach sets him apart. Toby is at the forefront of the emerging transformational leader that is “CIO 3.0”. Toby can be credited for building a trusted and highly valued Digital service at SABP. However, it is his position on the board and as an executive peer that he thrives in being able to guide the organisation and partners to adapt and redefine the way we do things using digital approaches not limited to providing technology but using it as a catalyst for putting people at the heart of rethinking what we do. Toby’s ethos manifests nowhere more clearly than the trust he puts in his teams and the environment he has nurtured to enable others to learn and thrive.
Toby’s drive for professionalism is showcased in his PgDip in Digital Healthcare Leadership gained as part of cohort 1 of the NHS Digital Academy, BCS Fellowship, FEDIP Leading Practitioner and CHIME CHCIO status. He is a role model for fellow digital professionals investing in their learning and development.

Our five reasons why Toby deserves to be CIO of the year:
1. Revolutionary vision and critical thinker
2. Resilience
3. Change Enabler & supporter
4. Trusted values
5. Compassionate leadership

By establishing a team of creative thinkers and visionary leaders from IT and clinical backgrounds. He created were the driving force for change and able to disrupt the status quo by:
• Bringing existing services into Digital, such as the Analytics and Information Governance teams, to create a ‘better fit’.
• Opening the door to a diversity of new talent who are designing and delivering new services
• Providing space, guidance and support to develop new ways of working – breaking silos and promoting use of multidisciplinary teams and co-design methodology with clinical and operational staff and service users.
• Influencing their senior leadership peers on the value of Digital in the long term, leveraging that influence to gain investment into Digital growth and providing assurance through clear and transparent engagement.
In 2019 Toby became Chief Digital & Information Officer taking on a wider portfolio and joining the executive board of the Trust. Digital are now recognised as vital to developing and delivering services. It is rare that Digital is represented at such a high level in an NHS Trust and is testament to Toby’s vision and resilience to succeed.

When Covid became a reality Toby had the right resources to mobilise a team to plan and deliver the Digital response allowing a rapid, ‘go early, go hard’ response. Despite the challenges we faced there was a positive outcome; the Trust demanded new ways of working and new technologies; adoption was fast, and the Trust’s eyes were open to future possibilities. Toby’s determination and vision has reached a major milestone.

Other material:
As a Director, Toby was heavily involved in the Trust’s Covid plans. Yet he always remains part of the Digital family and like many colleagues Toby rolled up his sleeves in delivering technology to care homes and staff.
2020 was a difficult year for all of us. Aware of the challenge lockdown presented he introduced regular online Digital Catchups that provided us with a space to say hello and talk and ask questions. Their value can’t be underestimated, and they continue today.

This year he has committed to meeting all 130 people across the directorate giving them time to talk to him on a one-to-one basis.

His support has been recognised at an executive level. As part of the executive response his compassion, focus and expertise supported and assured his peer group during Covid.

“I have particularly appreciated Toby as “go to” colleague throughout the challenges and difficulties of the last 18 months. I feel very lucky to have Toby as a colleague and I know we are very lucky to have him as a leader in our Trust”

Toby never stops learning. As part of the Trust’s Reverse Mentoring programme, he buddies up with a colleague from an ethnic background to raise awareness of the experiences and challenges faced by BME colleagues, walking in their shoes and developing diversity advocates at the highest level.

As a blogger and public speaker, he reflects on his Digital journey with his peer community and is often called on for his expertise from peers and wider leaders such as the NHS Providers Digital Boards Team.
Perhaps the best reflection of his supportive, compassionate leadership is our submissions of Helen Potter and Mark Kenny for this year’s Future Digital Leaders award. This is testament to why he deserves to be CIO of the Year.

Further reading:
Read the Digital Strategy online:

Follow Toby on Twitter:

Read Toby’s blog:

Charnley, Paul

Paul Charnley

Digital Lead,
Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership

Paul’s dedicated his career to improving patient care through the use of technology, working at local, regional and national levels on largescale healthcare programmes, in the UK, Qatar and USA. He has a wealth of experience in health informatics with over 40 years’ of working in the industry, where he’s gained the respect and admiration of his colleagues. Not just in terms of the knowledge he brings to the programmes he works on, both at a strategic and operational level, but also because of how down-to-earth and humble he is as a person, always making time for others on a professional and also personal level, no matter how busy he is.

An ability that is no mean feat when you consider the top roles Paul has had, and when you factor in his commitments outside of work, as a husband to Liz who he’s been married to for over 40 years, a father to their five children, and grandfather to their five grandchildren, who it’s safe to say all equally keep him on his toes! So we’re nominating Paul for the CIO of the year award, as we feel it’s high time he gets the recognition he truly deserves, before he retires. Not just for the difference he’s made in his career and to the many colleagues he’s worked with, but ultimately because of the measurable impact he’s had on the care that patients receive, through driving and advocating for the use of technology.

There are many ways he’s achieved this and demonstrated the benefits of advanced digitization and local population health management; from delivering national platforms including the NHS Spine and Summary Care Record, procuring an Electronic Patient Record system, and leading a Global Digital Exemplar programme. To leading the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership’s digital programme, which under his leadership has gone from strength to strength. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the rapid implementation (within three months) of a population health management system called CIPHA, which was utilised to support the national Events Research Programme in building a COVID safety-net to allow events to reopen. Alongside furthering the adoption of our region’s health information sharing platform Share2Care, which helped to aid clinicians in the daily delivery of safer and more effective care to patients, at a time when services where particularly stretched due to the rise in COVID admissions.

Paul is also a Co-Chair of the NHSX Blueprinting Steering Committee, where he utilises his wealth of experience to provide advice and guidance on blueprints, and to advocate for their adoption. In order to help health and care organisations across the country to deliver digital capabilities more quickly and cost effectively than has been possible in the past, with the ultimate aim of improving services for patients and staff. Additionally, Paul leads the Cheshire and Merseyside Cyber Security Group, which has recently been applauded for its pro-active approach to testing how prepared our ICS would be to deal with an attack.

Other material:
Speaking about the role CIPHA played throughout the pandemic, Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said: “We’re sincerely thankful for all your hard work in establishing CIPHA. It’s an amazing achievement and the speed in which the Platform was set up, in the most challenging of circumstances, is truly outstanding and a testament to all involved. You’ve enabled Directors of Public Health, Public Health teams and strategic groups within the Liverpool Resilience Forums across C&M to have access to data that helps to inform their planning and understanding of the pandemic. Which has been key for managing our System’s response to this crisis and will be equally instrumental in driving our recovery moving forward”.

Speaking about the role Share2Care played throughout the pandemic, Dr Mona Fung, Associate CCIO at Liverpool University Hospitals said: “Share2Care ensures clinicians across C&M are able to access information that enables them to deliver safe, effective and efficient care to their patients, identify gaps in their care and to drive insight work such as proactive prevention. Outcomes, which have been particularly beneficial and apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when services and staff were stretched due to a rise in the number of COVID-related hospital admissions, and healthcare professionals needed to be able to access patient data without constraint.

Speaking about the scenario-based response exercise undertaken to test how ready the ICS was to deal with an attack, Andy Green, Chief information security officer at Gemserv said “This was the first time a cyber-breach and response scenario of this kind has been done at ICS level in the NHS. We went from looking at a damage limitation perspective, to a malicious insider, to a full-blown cyber-attack and NHS colleagues from other ICSs around the country also took part, to consider their own emergency preparedness procedures.

Further reading:
Paul speaks to IT Pro 20/20, sharing his knowledge and advice on what healthcare organisations can do to prepare for a cyber-attack.

Paul delivers a live webcast for the HTN on why Blueprints are so important in helping NHS organisations to deliver digital capabilities.

Paul shares that he became an NHS CIO to make a difference in healthcare, in an interview with Digital Health, when he was appointment as IT and information director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:

Evans, Graham

Prof Graham Evans

Chief Digital Officer,
North East and North Cumbria ICS

1. Graham has skilfully navigated the challenges of working in an incredibly complex health and care sector eco-system. With 10 CCGs, 11 trusts, 10 local authorities and a population of 3.6million – with the worst health outcomes and inequalities in the country. He has provided inspiring leadership and a clear vision for what our region wants to achieve over the next five years – all whilst dealing with the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Due to the pandemic, the regional digital strategy which was written just one year before had to be updated as the pace at which digital technology was implemented across the region was greatly accelerated in some areas, or halted in others. Graham brought the region together to co-produce and design this new strategy.

2.Being in a regional role means engaging with and influencing local stakeholders -and all the challenges that brings, as well as dealing with the mire of challenges and demands thrown out of the centre around funding allocations. Graham is greatly respected across the region and navigates this spectacularly. Being a CIO is not just about having the right technical skills and knowledge – its far more about being able to work with others and get them to connect with your vision.

3. Graham has also implemented a new governance structure for digital programmes. This was a herculean effort to transform how our complex and multi-agency programmes were overseen. This presented political and organisational challenges which Graham has skilfully navigated. All of this was done during the pandemic. The previous structure was not effective so this new structure, although more complex has emerged to manage the complexity of the system we operate within.

4. He has another day job too – as CIO of one of our local trusts – so taking on both this and a regional role is nothing short of superhuman.

5. As someone who has worked with Graham for a number of years – starting out as a lowly administrator’s assistant, I can say how well he treats all staff at all levels equally with respect. I don’t know how he finds the time to fit all this in – he always takes time to thank staff and show his appreciation. A trait I have never seen in any other senior leader.

Other material:
When they made Graham, they through away the mould – as a kinder more generous person with his skills and time you will not find within the NHS. He is an influencer and takes part in several leadership groups, where he plays differing roles from chair. to participant he always ensures everyone has a voice.
Graham has an ability to make everyone feel equal, he consistently treats all colleagues and peers at all levels with the utmost of respect, and in turn, in my opinion, is very highly respected and held in high regard across the NENC ICS region and nationally. This level of authenticity and credibility is crucial in ensuring optimal regional engagement and the success of the region’s digital ambitions.

Graham was at the forefront of the development of the first NENC ICS Digital Strategy in 2019 and the more recently redeveloped NENC ICS Digital Strategy in 2020. His strong leadership ensured optimal engagement, successful development, approval, and its publication in December 2020. The work to produce the refreshed Strategy was conducted during the first peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; a time when Health and Care colleagues were under unprecedented levels of pressure. However, they still acknowledged the importance of the Strategy development and their involvement and engagement across a number of virtually delivered workshops and events is testament to Graham’s leadership.

In March 2020, in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, Graham led the initiation of an NENC ICS wide Digital Response Cell. The Cell was stood up at pace, including establishing appropriate governance, controls and reporting mechanisms, within the same day that regional colleagues agreed it was needed. The remit of the Cell was to act as a guiding coalition; providing senior digital leadership to optimise safety, quality and value for all local digital response plans. The Cell convened twice weekly from 18th March 2020 through to 11th June 2020. Again, the collaboration and engagement I believe is testament to Graham’s strong, supportive leadership and his ethos of collaboration.

Graham is passionate about ‘levelling up’ and often coins the phrase ‘as a region, we will only ever be as strong as our weakest link’. He has supported the region in funding bids to bring organisations with lower levels of digital maturity up to higher levels of digital maturity.

Further reading:
Regional digital strategy work led by Graham is available as an interactive pdf, and in animation form.

Please see this link to a Digital Health webinar, where Professor Graham Evans was on the speaker panel, focussing on the North East and North Cumbria Digital response to COVID-19.

Please see the following link to a BBH article, where Professor Graham Evans told a meeting of Highland Marketing executives that more needs to be done to ensure the NHS achieves digital maturity.

Rickles, Lee

Lee Rickles

Humber Teaching NHS FT and Yorkshire & Humber Care

Diversity of leadership roles
Lee Rickles currently holds two significant positions as both CIO at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust and Programme Director for the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record (YHCR). He has also helped to support Humber, Coast and Vale Health Partnership in developing and delivering their digital strategy and was instrumental in ensuring the Digital Health and Wellbeing Charter for Yorkshire & Humber got over the line. So within his current roles Lee manages and work with numerous teams both within in his organisation but beyond and as a leader of significant projects of work. Although very busy and pulled in many directions Lee always makes himself available to his team members and helps to ensure the best result in complex programmes of work.

Budget responsibility
Lee takes responsibility of significant public sector budgets. He takes this role seriously ensuring he gets good value for money. Yorkshire and Humber region was awarded one of five exemplar positions on the NHS Local Health Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme receiving up to £7.5 million over two years. Lee then led the programme to successfully mature into a programme that is funded and supported by the three Integrated Care Systems – Humber, Coast & Vale; South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw; and West Yorkshire & Harrogate health partnerships. Lee ensured we met all the funding milestones agreed with NHSx to budget and to deadline.

National/International representation
Lee represents the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record both on a national and international stage including recently speaking to interested parties in Australia. Up until recently he has also been a keen member of the Digital Health CIO Advisory Panel. Lee is also been a member of the Lorenzo Oversight Board since 2014 and is currently the chair of both the mental health and the interoperability expert reference groups. Lee is also the Digital SRO for the HCV ICS mental health programme and COVID vaccination programme. He has spoken and presented at HSJ, Rewired, HEE as well as many other national innovation or digital events or conferences.

Leadership, decision making and listening to experts
In his roles Lee delivers the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust Digital Plan – directing the delivery of Clinical Systems, Business Intelligence and Information Technology to support high quality care for our patients. Whilst progressing the complex development of the YHCR programme for the 5.5 million people who live in the region. Both leadership roles require informed decision making and Lee excels at listening to the experts in his team and ensuring he uses their knowledge, experience and advice to influence his decision. Investing in staff with the YHCR and Humber FT becoming a BCS organisation so the whole team can develop professional together.

Indepth knowledge in complex areas
Lee is not a “techie” however his understanding of complex technical issues is mind-blowing as well as a breadth of understanding of the areas that influence adoption of tech including stakeholder management, information governance, contract management, procurement, communications and public engagement.

Other material:
Lee Rickles has recently been accepted as a fellow of the BCS along with his fellowship of CHCIO. In typical Lee style, he not only progresses his own career but has taken his team with him, by ensuring Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust also become a member of BCS – bringing clear benefits to his team.
He bridges the gap between the digital work and the wider business of providing health care. This provides a clear recognition of Lee authority as a digital leader who also have a very clear and passionate understanding of the business. For example, the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record is a £20m plus digital project and has required Lee to use his influencing skills to secure the capital required and also arrange buy in to the project from Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer and Digital Leads across multiple integrated care systems.

Lee is one of a relatively small cohort of CIOs within the NHS whose opinion is sought to help shape national strategy and policy. He is very much viewed as an expert by his peers and those leading the digital healthcare agenda at national level. He supports a number of national bodies advising and shaping the development of digital health & care policy in England.

He has contributed to the development of the wider profession by championing the need for CIOs to get out from the ‘tech bubble’ and to actively drive the change agenda so desperately needed if the modernisation of the NHS is to be successful. Lee is popular amongst his peers because of his positive and determined views on the future and his thought leadership is respected and valued.


Readman, Luke

Luke Readman

Digital Transformation Director,
NHS England – London

Leadership – Luke provides regional leadership using a collaborative style and has led the development and delivery of the London Care Record. Luke also chairs the INTEROpen board – a group that drives interoperability in the NHS.

Strategy – Working with colleagues across London Luke has developed the strategic framework for investment in the region.

Delivery – Luke drives a delivery culture, continually targeting London wide delivery of the London Care Record.

Data and Platforms – Luke has driven ICS approaches for innovative use of data and shared platforms, guiding each ICS to make informed decisions.

Other material:
The London Care Record is now accessed roughly 750k times a month by clinical and operational staff. The London Care Record platform connects 30 NHS Acute Trusts and 1400 GP practices in London.

Luke has been a senior digital leader for over 20 years. The result of Luke’s work with INTEROpen has resulted in the development of interoperability becoming a policy issue. Luke is now leading the conversation around data and trusted research environments which will result in a better understanding as to how data can be used and shared to support improved health and care for Londoners.

Luke supported the London citizen deliberation – ensuring that all Londoners are represented in the use of their data. This resulted in the largest cohort of individuals from diverse backgrounds attending a 2-day seminar and the creation of a deliberation report.

Over his career Luke has also led the Cerner deployment at Barts hospital and is a renowned digital leadership and IT systems expert. Luke has a broad network of colleagues who respect and value his opinion – Luke is a valued member of the digital health community.

Luke has led the creation of the Discovery Data Service – a data platform that now holds 7m patient records in London. This service now provides three ICS with the data and analytics required to manage the COVID-19 outbreak, cohort analysis to support improved care for chronic conditions and supports public health research programmes in North East London, South East London and North West London.

Luke has led the regional team through a COVID pandemic supporting the management of the regional vaccination programme, the delivery of remote monitoring for pulsed oximetry and the rapid rollout of access to the London Care Record in the most appropriate care settings.

Further reading:

York, Craig

Craig York

Chief Technology Officer,
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS FT

1. Craig has shown inspirational leadership in building, supporting, and developing the digital team within MKUH. Craig invests his personal time in ensuring that everyone within the team has the opportunity to develop into the best they can be – with a consistent focus on improved care and experience for patients, and efficiency and effectiveness gains for staff. Team morale is something to behold.

2. He has a vision and takes people on the journey to delivery through the challenges of the GDE programme and exceeding the aspirational targets across the Trust.

3. Craig delivered MVS 1.0 six months before it was announced, at the start of the pandemic one of the largest risks was seamless transfer of GP and hospital data, this was discussed, planned, and delivered within weeks and now is accessed over 26K times per month.

4. He has developed partnerships which allow over 80K residents access to their hospital records, Craig has led and developed the relationships with the likes of Zesty and Apple to open up access for the residents which increases on a daily basis.

5. Craig has worked collaboratively across the ICS to develop relationships and integrated digital pathways that overcome different technology installations. He regularly shares learning across organisations, both within the NHS and wider across the globe, with our EPR vender often asking us to be a reference site for other countries. Craig consistently drives new innovations into the organisation, via the nursing tech fund, as a GDE FF, and ensuring the executive and board understand the importance of digital BAU funding.

Other material:
He supports staff with CPD internally and externally, promotion of the MKWay. Full team are ambassadors for the Trust and the Trust digital programme.

Craig led the digital implementation of Cerner across the full Trust, gaining the support of the clinicians and passing HIMMS 5 with HIMMS 6 assessment underway.

100% of GPs in MK Alliance connected bidirectionally during the first wave of the Pandemic, rolled out to community and mental health and GPs in Bedfordshire Care Alliance footprint with excellent uptake (26K accesses per month).

Joint announcement with Oxford of being the first UK Apple Cerner integration which built on the Zesty access for residents.

Craig holds membership of BCS (MBCS), Registration with FEDIP (FEDIP Advanced Practitioner), Certification through CHIME (CHCIO), Digital Academy Cohort 3.

Further reading:

CNIO of the year

Awoliyi, Anna

Anna Awoliyi

Chief Allied Health Information Officer,
Kettering General Hospital

Following our recent CQC inspection (May 2021) we were provided with a quick timeline to implement the Fall Module in Careflow Vitals, increased risk of Falls, Anna is the CNIO for the EPR Vitals. Anna was pivotal to ensure the safe implementation of the module across the Trust in an effective and effective timely manner, this included working with the Falls leads, Nursing Teams, IT Team, and third-party suppliers, and Project Manager.

Anna has a positive aptitude, is compassionate, empathetic, and an excellent communicator brings a do attitude and thinks outside the board in ways she can engage with the Trust staff and third-party suppliers to ensure any digital system is safe and fit for purpose for the organisation

Anna has also worked with Virtual Visting across the Trust that has brought family members and patients together during covid and continually advocates for loved ones to have contact during their stay in the Hospital.

Anna is always kind and engaging with staff at all levels, and takes time out to listen and work with staff on the digital transformation journey

Anna has been instrumental in the Digital ambassador plan, the programme that has helped staff on a digital journey to help staff through the digital transformation, working to help nursing and AHP staff on the journey for their digital capability self-assessment. also inviting Christian Tack to the organisation to speak on an AHP Leadership and Digital Study Day.

Anna is always approachable and happy to work with all teams to ensure an excellent execution in projects, while also making it fun

Anna is a great example of a great leader that takes staff members at all levels with her on the digital journey.

Other material:
Careflow Vitals – E-Obs Rolled out to over 35 areas across the Trust with over 500 devices in Use
Falls Module now live in all the areas required across the organisation
Virtual Visiting – iPads rolled out to all areas and now achieved over 4000+ Virtual Visits.

Further reading:

Hanbridge, Sarah

Sarah Hanbridge

The Christie NHS FT

(1) Sarah has a vision for how technology and innovation can enhance and improve patient care.

(2) Sarah is a fantastic mentor, coach, and a fantastic leader. She is visible, approachable, and encouraging to staff within our organisation.

(3) Sarah is a Florence Nightingale Scholar, has been recently appointed Chair of the CNIO advisory panel for the Digital Health Network and has set up and chaired the Northwest CNIO Network.

(4) Sarah has been crucial in setting up a safe process at our Organisation for Clinical Safety and continues to make improvements in this area.

(5) Sarah is passionate about patient care but also the staff that provide it. She is driven, determined and a visionary.

Other material:
After years working in Oncology and 18yrs in the same role I had lost my direction and focus. Sarah completed a review of our team’s service by completing process maps and processes to look at ways we could improve our service delivery. It was during her work with us that her passion for nursing and, the move towards digital technology to improve care, was apparent. I had never considered moving into the role of a Digital Nurse but her enthusiasm, leadership and support gave me the vision to see how my knowledge and skills in Oncology could be used in a different way.

Since working with Sarah I have a renewed enthusiasm for striving to deliver the best care with the patient always as the focus point. We have two Digital Nurses now and I have never been busier. The teams within the Digital Division said they could not manage without us now. Sarah continues to strive to achieve and has a vision to increase the team with both nurses and AHP’s. She has recently been appointed Chair of the CNIO advisory panel for the Digital Health Network and has also set up the CNIO Northwest Network along with being a Florence Nightingale Scholar. I am extremely honoured to be able to work with such a talented, supportive, and encouraging mentor and coach.

Further reading:

Jones, Mike

Mike Jones

Associate CCIO (CNIO),
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS FT

1 – long service to Nursing and digital. Mike has been an experienced nurse and worked on some of the earliest mental health systems starting in Sussex and eventually working pan London.
2 – managing a successful NPfIT programme for London. Mike was programme manager for mental health systems in London, one of the few successes of the national programme for IT
3 – following this he has had a successful career in clinical informatics at a few mental health trusts developing EPRs including CNTW contributing to the GDE programme.
4 – supporting sharing of mental health information via the Great North Care record. Developing clinical safety cases for CNTW, one of the first trusts to go live on GNCR for viewing and sharing data.
5 – extensive networking. Mike has been a lynchpin of mental health clinical networks for years.

Other material:
Mike has over 50 years NHS experience with at least the last 20 years being in clinical informatics.

NPfIT in London implemented over 39 instances of RiO many of them mental health with Mike as programme manager.

The GNCR is one of the most successful shared care record systems with over 250,000 views per month, mental health records which are generally considered sensitive and difficult to share are available to many settings including primary care, emergency departments and social care.

Mike is quite a modest man but works away behind the scenes of many projects and isn’t probably well known outside of mental health. However, he is well known and respected by his peers and transcends CIO, CNIO and CCIO networks.

Further reading:

Newcombe, Sarah

Sarah Newcombe

Great Ormond Street NHSFT, London Region

Sarah is a generous, engaging leader and a role model and a great advocate of the CNIO position., a real trailblazer
– GOSH achieved HIMSS level 7 under her CNIO leadership
– she has been appointed as London region CNIO for NHSE/I
– she is undertaking the Digital Academy to further her knowledge and expertise
– she is very generous in terms of mentoring and role modelling to her CNIO network and other nursing colleagues
– she leads by example through participating in webinars, sharing knowledge and learning

Other material:
Sarah was recently chosen as the London region CNIO for NSHE/I, a recognition of her profile and leadership skills alongside her GOSH role

Sarah is part of cohort 3 of the Digital Academy

Our two Trusts are embarking on a Partnership to deliver a digital health record – Sarah has invested significant time and effort in engaging with and supporting her RMH counterpart, meeting with teams, generously sharing knowledge and generally adding extra quality to the programme

Sarah participates in round tables, webinars, and conferences to ensure that her experience is shared with others.

Further reading:
Digital Health Summer Schools ‘Digital Nursing Leadership is not one thing. Discuss’

Rogers, Dione

Dione Rogers

Kettering General Hospital NHS FT

Dione is a passionate, innovative leader who is committed to transforming and improving the practice of clinicians and care of patients through the optimisation and adoption of digital technology in healthcare.

Dione has an extraordinary set of skills, which, fortunately for the rest of us, she is willing to share! Dione is a pivotal member of the Digital Health CNIO national advisory panel and chairs the Midlands digital nursing network with the primary focus of fostering a community of shared learning and support for digital nurses, midwives and AHPs. Dione’s generosity of knowledge extends beyond her 9-5 role and as of this year she had committed to mentoring 4 future digital leaders, all of whom are at different stages in their digital career.

Dione has pushed the boundaries of transformation and innovation within her own Trust and is now doing all she can to help support others. This support includes conducting webinars, workshops and 1:1 support sessions for other Trusts who are trying to adopt similar EPR systems.

Other material:
In 2020, Dione was awarded the Women in Tech Digital Leader of the year award for her “”paper out of pocket”” initiative that transformed patient handover at Kettering Hospital. Following this, Dione was welcomed into the first cohort of Florence Nightingale Foundation Digital Leadership Scholars.

In 2021, Dione was awarded the Ruth May CNO Silver award for her outstanding contributions to digital leadership, recognising her awe-inspiring dedication to supporting digital leaders of the future and pushing the boundaries of leadership and innovation in the nursing profession.

Further reading:

Ward, Lisa

Lisa Ward

Chief Nursing Information Officer,
County Durham and Darlington NHS FT

Lisa was instrumental in the development of the Health Call Digital Care Home solution. The project sought to link care homes so they could provide high quality digital referrals to community nursing teams who work for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

Lisa provided excellent advice on the clinical best practice and shaped the design of the service – which saves significant time for nursing staff at the trust and improves the experience of patients living in care homes who can receive the right treatment at the right place.

Lisa helped shape the service by changing it from the MIST model to SBAR. Her clinical expertise also meant that we built the NEWS2 score into the service. This facilitates how nursing teams prioritise care home residents. The service is available across the whole of the county which covers a large rural area.

Prior to the digital referral service, nursing teams would travel around the region visiting are home residents. Now care home staff are trained in taking observations. They complete the online form which then populates the patient’s record in SystmOne.

Other material:
Lisa’s contribution to this project is the reason it’s been so successful. She facilitated getting the right people involved and shaped the digital service around the needs of primarily the patients – who now are not inappropriately referred to hospital, but also means that care is directed at those most in need.

Following an initial evaluation of the service in County Durham, research found that it reduced inappropriate admissions by 3.4 per care home per month. This also translated to a saving for the health and care sector of £8millon.

Further reading:

Wells, Emily

Emily Wells

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust

Leadership – Successfully led and set up the NNUH technology enabled virtual ward during Covid-19, working with a wide range of stakeholders across numerous clinical specialties

Collaboration – Has generously shared learning with others across the country, presented on several national events that have been incredibly well received and enabled other areas to move forward at pace learning from the great work Emily has led on. HAs equally ensure NNUH have utilised learning from elsewhere to avoid duplication of effort.

Patient Focus – Has maintained a patient focus across all this work through ensuring a focus on patient satisfaction levels and patient benefits in bed days saved which enables other patients to utilise those physical beds

Staff focus – Has provided insights into the workforce opportunities that technology enabled care provides and highlights that this has been a truly multidisciplinary team success story.

Strategic Thinking – Has demonstrated thinking big ie opportunities beyond the current work eg opportunity of all specialties to engage with this model of care plus the possibility of a “”digital hospital

Other material:
Collaboration – She has now presented on the NNUH work numerous times and has generously shared learning and resources – see resource 1 below.

Leadership & Patient Focus – Evident in presentations and had a patient representative on the HETT webinar

Staff focus & Strategic Thinking – Evident in presentations.

Further reading:
To access these two resources, you will need to join the Innovation collaborative. To do this email requesting access.

1. Resources that she has shared with others

2. Joint webinar with Airedale (Note – Emily’s presentation starts at 10.41 mins)