Greater Manchester appoints Dr Gareth Thomas to lead digital transformation across the city region

Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas, Deputy National Chief Clinical Information Officer at NHS England, will join the Greater Manchester health and care system in the new year as Digital Innovation Director. He joins as part of a joint appointment between Health Innovation Manchester, and NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care.

Gareth will lead the city region’s health and care digital transformation strategy and delivery of high priority activity, working with partners across all care settings to optimise digital transformation and the delivery of tech enabled new models of care. Accelerating the development and deployment of digital innovation is a top priority for the Greater Manchester system in addressing some of system’s major challenges.

Gareth’s current role is as Deputy National Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) within the Transformation Directorate at NHS England, where he brought clinical leadership to national policy, strategy, systems liaison, and workforce development initiatives. He is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, and worked as Clinical Director at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to his national role he was the Group Chief Clinical Information Officer at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

Commenting on his appointment Gareth said: “The role of Digital Innovation Director brings the opportunity to work with providers and frontline teams within Greater Manchester, ensuring that funding and innovations are prioritised to bring the greatest impact upon the health, wealth and wellbeing of our 2.8 million citizens.

“In this joint role, and working in collaboration with partners, I will embrace the opportunity to lead closer alignment with local priorities, have direct visibility of delivery and benefits realisation, whilst also supporting regional economic growth.

“I am passionate about the role of digital technology to reimagine, redesign and transform health and care services for patients and users, and am looking forward to applying this within Greater Manchester, where I live and have worked for the last 25 years.”

Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “Gareth’s blend of deep clinical and digital expertise means he will be able to translate clinical problems into digital solutions to drive forward our innovation and digital transformation agenda for the benefit of local people, our health, academic and industry partners and the GM economy. As a member of the executive team at Health Innovation Manchester, Gareth will have a pivotal role in helping GM to realise its full potential.”

Warren Heppolette, Chief Officer for Strategy and Innovation at NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “We have made significant progress over the last few years in unlocking the potential of digital innovation across Greater Manchester, and it is vital that we continue to build and drive this forward to address the major challenges facing the NHS and care system today and in the future. I look forward to welcoming Gareth back to Greater Manchester and working with him in this exciting role.”

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