New NHS Digital Healthcare Academy In The Works

As part of some major changes being brought into the National Health Service this year, the government has begun working on a new virtual learning facility which is aimed at expediting the process of recruiting highly trained healthcare staff. The new system is also intended to help modernise the NHS, which has been identified in an independent review as a matter of urgency.

Under the newly announced plans, up to £10 million will be spent on securing the support of 12 trusts. These organisations (expected to consist of UK universities) will be tasked with spearheading the initiative and providing the necessary infrastructure and knowledge for the new digital academy to work. These trusts will also be encouraged to network with other organisations in order to expand their knowledge bases even further and offer higher standards of training. The idea is that being involved with the new programme will be mutually beneficial for the institutions given the role of trusts and the virtual academy itself.

Later stages of the plans are less crystal clear, but another wave of 20 trusts will be brought in to further develop the system in exchange for up the £5 million in funding per trust. These financial incentives should, according to the government’s plans, lead to the development of a high-tech online facility for healthcare professionals to have easier access to better training in future.

This is all part of a wider effort to update the NHS following recommendations made by Bob Wachter, a US expert brought in to review the system in its entirety. In his review, he provided detailed feedback on the systems currently available to patients and staff within the NHS along with his advice on how to develop these further. This has directly contributed to the government’s new plans and the fact that they centre on digital services.

Last year, there were hints of this focus being phased in with the announcement of CareCERT, an initiative aimed at providing an emergency support and security service for all healthcare IT systems. A new training division of this initiative is set to be rolled out in the coming months.

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