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First chief information officer for health announced

8 August 2008

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Christine Connelly has been announced as the first chief information officer for health, and will lead a team taking forward the government’s flagship health IT programme.

Ms Connelly’s role will focus on developing and delivering the Department of Health’s (DH) overall IT strategy as well as integrating leadership across the NHS and associated bodies, including NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) and the Information Centre.

Ms Connelly (pictured) has most recently been working as an independent consultant. Previously she was the chief information officer at Cadbury Schweppes PLC, with direct control of all IT operations and projects.

In a further new appointment, Martin Bellamy will be the director of programme and system delivery. He will lead NHS CfH and focus on enhancing partnerships with and within the NHS.

Mr Bellamy has worked for the Department for Work and Pensions since 2003. His main role has been as the chief information officer of the Pension Service.

These appointments, which will both be taken up on 22 September, follow the strategic refocusing of IT leadership as part of the Health Informatics Review into how information can be better used across the Department and NHS.

NHS Chief Executive, David Nicholson said: “The creation of these two roles enhances both the strategic management of information in the health and social care system and the delivery of NHS CfH.”

“I am delighted that Christine and Martin have accepted these key posts. Together they bring a breadth of skills and experience that will be invaluable as we continue the roll out of new and innovative systems that are helping NHS staff to transform the services they provide for patients.”

Ms Connelly said: “I am delighted to be joining such a strong team and am looking forward to getting started in September.”

Mr Bellamy said: “I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues from across the NHS to continue the delivery of the National Programme for IT.

“Much has already been achieved by this strategically important programme but what excites me most about my new role is the potential to deliver substantial further benefits both to patients and to staff in the NHS.”