• Digital delivery board will be led by Keith McNeil and Will Smart
  • New board will replace Department of Health led board responsible for Care.data

A new digital delivery board bringing together NHS England, NHS Digital and the Department of Health has been established to drive the implementation of national technology policy.

The new board will be led by senior figures from NHS England, and will replace another one led by the Department of Health, which was previously charged with delivering Care.data among other digital initiatives.

It has been announced today that the new digital delivery board will be chaired by NHS England’s chief clinical information officer, Keith McNeil.

Matthew Swindells, national director for commissioning operations and information, will sit on the board, and Will Smart, chief information officer, will play a key leadership role, NHS England has said.

The remit of the now defunct informatics portfolio management board (IPMB), which Dr McNeil’s new board is replacing, was to convert the information strategy and commissioning priorities defined by the National Information Board into “affordable and effective delivery plans”.

This meant the IPMB had direct responsibility for the control and oversight of a portfolio of national programmes such as Care.data and the 100,000 Genomes project.

Its chair was Will Cavendish, who was charged with working closely with former national information director, Tim Kelsey.

However, the IPMB’s record of delivery was mixed: ambitious ideas about patient and care records being “digital, real time and interoperable” by 2020 have had their deadline extended to 2023, and a 2018 deadline for clinicians in key care settings to be “operating without the need for paper records” has been removed.

Meanwhile, the Care.data programme in its original form has been closed.

However, 97 per cent of GP practices in England now have online access to appointment booking and repeat prescriptions, according to NHS England – this programme was overseen by the IPMB. It was also in charge of the summary care record initiative, which has now been rolled out to 96 per cent of GP-registered patients.

The IPMB was also responsible for the NHS Choices website.