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New national tech chiefs named

Published on: 5 May 2022

Two tech chiefs will lead digital strategy and policy teams across NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care after former NHSX CEO Matthew Gould announced he will focus on a new “priority work” for Amanda Pritchard. 

Simon Madden, Department of Health and Social Care director of data policy, and Catherine Pollard, director of tech policy at NHS England, will replace Mr Gould in directly leading the teams which made up NHSX.  

The duo will lead a “Joint Unit” which is the remnant of NHSX and will “serve as both strategy and policy team of the new transformation directorate in NHS England, and as the digital transformation directorate of DHSC”, according to an internal announcement in recent days.

Mr Gould is stepping down from his role as national director for digital transformation, the announcement said. 

He served as NHSX CEO from the unit’s inception in summer 2019 until January this year, and had been expected to leave after the merger between NHSX and NHSE was formalised earlier this year.

Last month he relinquished the “budgetary control” within his responsibilities as national director and it appears he is now leaving the tech role altogether. This comes a month after former NHSX deputy CEO Simon Eccles departed.

The note said Mr Gould would now carry out “priority work” for Ms Pritchard linked to the recovery of NHS services. HSJ understands it will be focused on urgent and emergency care.

In the message to NHSE staff, Mr Gould said his teams had “changed the trajectory of the NHS and social care” and that health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said NHSX had “more than fulfilled its mandate”. 

The NHSX brand was retired at the end of January.

Mr Gould said in his message: “We have forged brilliant partnerships, and done a pretty good job at being the open, creative, respectful team we wanted to be.”