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Rob Shaw leaves NHS Digital for consultancy


NHS Digital’s deputy chief executive Rob Shaw will leave the organisation at Christmas to work in consultancy, initially with foreign governments on national health and care infrastructure.

Shaw’s career at NHS Digital included moving the management of the NHS Spine system in-house, after it having been run by BT for a decade following its development as part of the NHS National Programme for IT. The Spine, which allows secure information sharing, currently links 23,000 healthcare IT systems at 20,500 organisations in England and in October last year it handled more than one billion transactions. NHS Digital says that moving it in-house has so far saved £100m.

Shaw also set up NHS Digital’s cybersecurity function, although its first chief information security officer Robert Coles left the role after just three months in January.

“Whilst I will miss the organisation and my talented colleagues enormously, the time is right to pursue some new challenges and to test my skills in some new environments,” said Shaw.

“Rob has been hugely important to the functioning of this organisation for many years. He has worked throughout NHS Digital in many roles and guises and his contribution has been simply phenomenal,” said Sarah Wilkinson, NHS Digital’s chief executive.

“On a personal note, I could not have asked for a more supportive, wise, thoughtful, generous and loyal deputy. It has been a huge privilege to have his support over the last couple of years and I will miss him enormously.”

Shaw is one of several senior technologists to move from the NHS to the private sector in 2019. In April, NHS England’s chief digital officer Juliet Bauer left the organisation for Livi, a Swedish digital healthcare company, then in July Matthew Swindells quit as deputy chief executive, where his role included IT responsibilities, to work as a consultant.


Image by NHS Digital

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