NHS Digital is merging with NHS England, what does this mean?

A person using the NHS healthcare smartphone app
© Inkdropcreative1

News that NHS England has assumed responsibility for NHS Digital and all its previous activities has been announced, with more merges on the horizon

The merge between the two has come following the recommendation of Laura Wade-Grey’s review, “Putting data, digital and tech at the heart of transforming the NHS”.

What does this merge mean?

 Under this new collaboration, NHS England will assume responsibility for all previous activity previously undertaken by NHS Digital. These services include the running of vital national IT systems which support health and social care, and the collection, analysis, publication and dissemination of data generated by health and social care services to improve outcomes.

According to the NHS “Systems and services, functions, processes and structures of NHS Digital and Health Education England will continue to operate as normal, and contracts will automatically transfer to NHS England, with terms and conditions unchanged”.

The future of NHS England

April 2023 will also see the unification of Health Education English and NHS England which will mean the responsibility of ensuring the healthcare workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours in place to support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to patients and the public will fall to NHS England.

Why are these changes happening?

By working together in key areas such as people, data and technology this redesign at the centre of the NHS in England will allow support and enable local systems to:

  • Work in more efficient ways
  • Improve diagnosis and treatment
  • Understand and improve services

The NHS commented: “This merger will reduce duplication, bringing the NHS’s people, skills, digital, data and technology expertise together into one organisation. This will help us to collaborate more effectively and allow local organisations to benefit from a wide range of specialist support and expertise”.

The Contracts with NHS Digital

According to NHS Digital, the merger has been completed by a statute change, and any contracts that are subject to UK law have been transferred automatically to NHS England under those regulations.


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