Former Transport for London (TfL) chief information officer (CIO) Steve Townsend has been appointed chief digital and information officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Townsend left TfL in October last year after more than five years as CIO, which followed a near-five year stint as director of information management at London Underground. He has also worked at Carphone Warehouse and Centrica, and served 16 years in the British Army as a communications specialist.
Townsend then became a director at Ashton Beeches Consulting, a niche consulting company which aims to drive thought leadership across the information, customer, operational and engineering technology sectors.
Townsend succeeds Scott Sommerville, who has led the trust’s IT and telecoms team for the past eight years.
His board level role at the NHS trust has been newly created “in recognition of the growing importance of digital technology, informatics and information governance in the delivery of effective healthcare now and in the future”, the trust said.
Amanda Pritchard, CEO of Guy’s and St Thomas’, said that Townsend brought “an impressive combination of technology and leadership skills to the trust, and has demonstrated how these can be harnessed to realise strategic goals”.
Pritchard said that the appointment would ensure that the trust is able to benefit from the transformational changes that new technology and developments in informatics can bring.
“Steve joins us as we refresh and update our digital strategy, and begin in earnest the critical process of selecting a new Electronic Health Record,” she said.
Townsend said that he was looking forward to taking up his new appointment and was excited about the new challenges of working for an NHS organisation for the first time.
“In particular [I’m excited about] bringing life to the trust’s digital strategy based around the connected clinician, the mobilisation of staff and the digital patient journey,” he said.
“The NHS is close to my heart and it will be a privilege to repay a debt of gratitude – I have nothing but admiration for the clinicians and staff working in this incredible institution, especially those who provided life-saving treatment to my son.”
He explained that the organisation’s emphasis on customer experience meant that he had moved from reporting to the CFO Ian Nunn to reporting to the managing director of customer experience, marketing and communictions, Vernon Everitt.
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