16 April 2021 – NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

16 April 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Kathy Farndon, non-executive director at University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Kathy said: “Technology is an enabler to access data. If we as NEDs start to think about the vital asset that data is to be able to run effective and safe clinical services as well as run our organisations from the business perspective we can then see how critically important the reliability, the security and constant updating of that digital technology that enables the access to that valuable data really is. It falls to all of us to take responsibility for that digital technology for our trusts. […]

“One of the good opportunities for healthcare in the digital agenda is the ability for to share data and this aligns well with the development of the ICSs. It will allow us to be more patient centric and start focusing on the patient more holistically. […]

“People would pay a fortune to get access to that data and cyber-attacks are coming thick and fast […]. This means you have to have up-to-date digital technology and security. There are so many hospitals that are still operating on Windows 10, which isn’t even supported anymore, so we need to take responsibility around the digital technology and the legacy systems we still have.”

Also overheard during this week’s webinar:

“A lot of boards need a better understanding of the difference between digital strategy and data strategy. Technology is no longer someone in a basement fixing a printer or writing an Excel macro. We will not be able to get intelligent insights if we don’t understand our data and have good governance around it.”

“Even if you do have the right people on the board with the right skillsets, it is the trade-off of decision-making that is tricky. Everything is a priority, which makes nothing a priority. Health inequalities, climate crisis, workforce wellbeing, and cybersecurity are all big tasks. There are overlaps and systemic problems have systemic solutions. I see ICSs being a great way of accelerating progress on this.”

“Boards are often naïve and don’t know about digital. That means they don’t want to engage with this. I’m trying to raise this awareness on my board but I basically hear ‘there are bigger fish to fry’ and I don’t know how to tackle this. Boards need to be educated.”

These meetings are by invitation and are open to all NHS non-executives directors, chairs and associate non-executive directors of NHS providers. Others may attend by special invitation. For further details, visit our website https://www.good-governance.org.uk/events/.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about these webinars, please contact: events@good-governance.org.uk