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Recognising the digital profession:The Year of the Digital Profession & the digital and data awards

Sonia Patel, System CIO & Director of Levelling-Up, Head of Digital Profession

In her latest blog post, Sonia Patel, System CIO and Head of Digital Profession, describes how the Digital and Data awards will help lay the foundation for The Year of the Digital Profession in health and care and explains how you can nominate a member of your team.

In collaboration with partners, we are establishing 2022 as the ‘Year of the Digital Profession’, to shine a spotlight on the profession, develop a vibrant professional community and plan for the workforce needs of the future.

Over the last two years, the profession has risen to challenges of the pandemic and supporting leaders, staff and citizens through the use of digital, data and technology from enabling virtual environments all the way to supporting the national covid vaccination effort.

We are committed to developing the beneficial changes to deliver a ‘digitally-enabled’ future as a part of the NHS Long Term Plan. This includes providing digital access to NHS services for citizens and ensuring clinicians have digital access to patient records and care plans.

The foundation to becoming ‘digitally enabled’ will be to develop a sustainable, skilled and supported digital, data, technology and informatics workforce in order to help the wider workforce with the appropriate skills and tools. This is integral to good digital practice that we set out in our What Good Looks Like guidance and essential if we are to meet the demands and ambitions of the sector.

Our pledge is to work with stakeholders and informatics professionals across the system in the Year of the Digital Profession to:

  • Launch a 5-year strategy and roadmap for a sustainable digital and data workforce and developing the profession the workforce deserves.

  • Create a career framework setting out core competencies to inform professional development and critical for both the recruitment and retention of those within the health and care sector.

  • As well as the delivery of targeted campaigns to attract apprentices, graduates and specialist skills in short supply, into the sector.

We will commence, in association with the Federation of Informatics Professionals (FedIP), the ‘Year of the Digital Professional’ by recognising the invaluable contribution to health and care delivery made by those already working in digital and data with the launch of the Digital and Data Awards.

The awards are open to clinicians and professionals, from apprentices through to senior managers, working in digital, data, technology or informatics roles in the NHS and social care. The awards are across six categories:

● Spirit, recognising leadership or contribution to advancing a team during the fight against COVID and during the recovery phase