Management > CIO

NHS Digital appoints Home Office’s Sarah Wilkinson as CEO

David Bicknell Published 18 April 2017

Capture of Whitehall digital heavyweight gives NHS Digital additional transformation clout


NHS Digital has pulled off a coup by persuading Home Office chief digital, data and technology officer Sarah Wilkinson to join it as chief executive.

Wilkinson has been at the Home Office since early 2015, joining to drive transformation of the department's IT capabilities. Previously she was managing director, head of corporate systems technology at Credit Suisse.

She will join NHS Digital later this year, with an exact date to be announced in due course.

NHS Digital chair Noel Gordon said, "I am delighted that Sarah is joining NHS Digital at such a pivotal time for health and care as we work hard to empower the system through digital transformation.

"Sarah brings vast experience of implementing complex technology projects, alongside a deep insight into bringing about positive change to a broad range of communities through digital delivery.

"She is joining a talented, ambitious and committed team and I look forward to seeing NHS Digital continue to work with the health and care sector to deliver technology and digital services of maximum value to patients and the public.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rob Shaw, our Interim CEO, for his outstanding leadership until Sarah joins us."

Wilkinson said, "I am thrilled to be joining an organisation that has such a major role to play in supporting health and care organisations to provide preeminent services."

"Digital and technical capabilities and the fast-evolving market in platforms, software, devices and analytics, are transforming the ability of the medical profession to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. To be asked to work at the forefront of delivering these capabilities is hugely exciting.

"A major draw of the role is the opportunity to work with and alongside an incredibly talented team of medical practitioners, technologists and other specialists. It is a huge privilege to be asked to be part of this community," she said.

Wilkinson’s departure means recruitment campaigns will soon be underway for two of Whitehall’s most prized IT and digital jobs.  As well as Wilkinson’s Home Office IT leadership role being slated for advertisement, earlier this month, HMRC said it was launching a similar campaign to finally replace its chief digital, data and information officer Mark Dearnley, who left last Autumn.

More to follow


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