• Professor Robert Wachter to prepare NHS digital review to be published this summer
  • US based expert understood to have recruited team with broad range of expertise from UK, US and Europe
  • Advisers expected to include David Brailer, who was the first US national coordinator for health, and Sir David Dalton

The US digital health expert commissioned by Jeremy Hunt to advise on how the NHS can become a world leading digital health system has assembled a heavyweight group to assist his review.

HSJ understands Robert Wachter’s advisory team (see box, below), which will help him prepare a digital review scheduled to be published in the summer, contains experts from the US, senior NHS figures and well regarded international digital IT specialists.

The group is understood to include David Brailer, who was the first US national coordinator for health IT in 2004-06, and is now chief executive of private equity firm Health Evolution Partners.

Other notable members understood to be on group are:

  • John Halamka, chief information officer at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center;
  • Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development, Edinburgh University;
  • Sir David Dalton, chief executive of Salford Royal Foundation Trust; and
  • Ann Slee, e-prescibing lead at NHS England.

The health secretary revealed he had commissioned Professor Wachter to carry out the review at the HSJ annual lecture in October.

The Wachter review team

Advisers to Professor Wachter are expected to include:

  • John Halamka, chief information officer, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development, University of Edinburgh
  • Sir David Dalton, chief executive, Salford Royal Foundation Trust
  • Ann Slee, e-prescibing lead, NHS England
  • Wai Keong Wong, consultant haematologist, University College London Hospitals
  • Lynda Thomas, chief executive, MacMillan Cancer Support
  • Tim Kelsey, former NHS England director for patients and information
  • Crispin Hebron, learning disability consultant nurse, NHS Gloucestershire
  • Richard Lilford, director, Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery, University of Warwick
  • Julia Adler-Milstein, associate professor, Schools of Information and of Public Health, University of Michigan
  • Rollin Fairbanks, National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
  • Christine Sinsky, vice president of professional satisfaction, American Medical Association
  • David de Bronkart, patient advocate and founder of e-Patient Dave
  • Mary Dixon-Woods, professor of medical sociology, University of Leicester
  • Harpreet Sood, senior fellow to the chair and chief executive, NHS England
  • Christian Nohr, professor, Aalborg University

He said Professor Wachter “will conduct a review for the NHS on the critical lessons we need to get right as we move to a digital future. He will guide and inspire us as Professor Don Berwick did on safety and we look forward to receiving his report next summer.” Full terms of reference for the review are still to be published.

The advisory group is epxected to have a mixture of technical informatics expertise, NHS expertise, a patient advocate and a number of leading academics, to support Professor Wachter, who is professor and interim chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Professor Wachter’s book, The Digital Doctor, was published last year to acclaim among health policy and informatics experts on both sides of the Atlantic.

A Department of Health spokesman said it could not comment on the details obtained by HSJ but said the makeup of the team would be made official in due course