NHS England’s national director of transforming health systems will leave to join Google Deepmind Health in the new year.
Michael Macdonnell joined NHS England as head of strategy in 2013, later becoming director of strategy, and since last year in his current role working with integrated care systems.
He will become head of partnerships and delivery at Google DeepMind Health, which has pioneered artificial intelligence in the sector. The role will involve strengthening DeepMind’s partnerships in the NHS and overseas with the aim of applying AI to clinical practice.
Mr Macdonnell said: “I’m very pleased to be joining DeepMind Health in the new year to explore how the exciting research findings from its work at Moorfields, University College London Hospitals and elsewhere can improve real world clinical practice.
“This work shows the transformational potential AI technology and mobile tools offer for health systems, clinicians and the patients they serve.”
NHS England national director of operations and information Matthew Swindells said: “Michael has made a tremendous contribution in his five years with NHS England, from initially helping to draw up the Five Year Forward View, to founding the system transformation group and being one of the key architects of the development of [sustainability and transformation partnerships] and ICSs on which the future ‘population health focused’ NHS will be based.”
He said Mr Macdonnell would be at NHS England until February and in the interim he would not be involved in any discussions or decisions that might affect Deepmind or Google. Mr Swindells said health system work would continue “with integration of care remaining a priority”.
A DeepMind Health spokeswoman said: ”Michael brings a wealth of experience of working with the NHS and international health systems to bring about meaningful change that benefits patients and clinicians. We’re looking forward to him joining the team at DeepMind Health early next year.”
NHS England statement
21 September 2018