Who we are

NHSX is a joint unit of NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, supporting local NHS and care organisations to:

  • digitise their services
  • connect the health and social care systems through technology
  • transform the way patients’ care is delivered at home, in the community and in hospital

NHSX has the strategy, powers and technical expertise to:

  • negotiate national contracts
  • design the technical architecture to link up the whole system across health and care
  • set national policy to deliver the necessary change

NHSX sets the overall strategy for digital transformation and we commission NHS Digital to deliver core central products like existing APIs, the Spine, and the National Record Locator Service.

We report directly to the Secretary of State and the Chief Executive of NHS England and NHS Improvement. We are funded through existing budgets.

Leadership team

Matthew Gould

CEO, NHSX

Matthew Gould

Matthew is the CEO for NHSX. His priorities are to reduce the burden on clinicians, to put services and information into the hands of citizens, and to ensure that clinicians can safely access patient data from wherever they are in the system.

For three years prior, he was the Government's Director-General for Digital and Media Policy, and before that he was British Ambassador to Israel, where he set up the UK-Israel Tech Hub, and the UK Government's Director of Cyber Security. As well as Israel, he has completed postings in Tehran, Islamabad, Washington and Manila.

Matthew is married with two daughters. He is a keen but incompetent show-jumper.

Dr Simon Eccles

Deputy Chief Executive at NHSX and National Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care

Simon Eccles

Dr Simon Eccles is the national Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care, and head of profession for CCIOs. He is also the Deputy Chief Executive for NHSX. Simon has responsibility for digital primary care, the digital transformation of screening, and four missions of NHSX. These include reducing the burden on staff, empowering citizens, making clinical information available when needed, enhancing clinical safety and improving operational efficiency.

Simon was previously the national Medical Director in Connecting for Health. He was the Clinical Director for Urgent Emergency Care for NHS London and SRO for urgent emergency care in South East London. Simon was an early graduate of the major project Leadership Academy at the Said business school and still practices emergency medicine as a Consultant at St Thomas’s hospital, London.

Tara Donnelly

Chief Digital Officer, NHSX

Tara Donnelly

Tara Donnelly is Chief Digital Officer at NHSX. She leads the team focused on supporting people at home with digital care, scaling digital health innovations to benefit citizens and staff, working with partners across health and social care. She also leads the communication and engagement team.

Tara’s career has spanned a range of operational and improvement roles in hospitals across London including Director of Operations at the Whittington and Managing Director roles at University College London Hospital. She has undertaken two chief executive roles, most recently at the Health Innovation Network, the academic health science network for south London, and at the West Middlesex University Hospital. She is also a non-executive director at the Nuffield Trust.

Simon Madden

Director of Data Policy, NHSX

Simon Madden

Simon Madden is Director of Data Policy at NHSX. He is a career civil servant with experience in front line operations, policy development, project delivery, strategy, planning and performance. Previously, Simon was Programme Director for Places for Growth in the Cabinet Office, leading a cross-government programme delivering a government commitment to move public bodies and civil service roles out of London into the regions and nations of the United Kingdom. He has also had the role of Deputy Director in the Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit where he led on government planning and performance strategy.

Catherine Pollard

Director of Tech Policy, NHSX

Catherine Pollard

Catherine is the Director of Tech Policy at NHSX, having joined NHSX in April 2020 as the Director of the Centre for Improving Data Collaboration. The Centre, which she continues to lead, supports better data-driven partnerships between the NHS and industry, ensuring these promote patient and public benefit. During COVID-19, Catherine also led NHSX efforts to use technology to accelerate the integration of health and social care. Prior to joining NHSX, she was the Executive Programme Director for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough STP, Director of Strategy at UCLH and a policy director at NHS Improvement. Catherine is inspired by how digital and data together can promote independence and person-centred care while addressing the multifaceted workforce challenges across health and care.

Iain O’Neil

Director, Digital Transformation, NHSX

Ian O'Neil

Iain is Director of Digital Transformation at NHSX and heads up the digital transformation function. Having joined the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in 2017 Iain led the department’s digital and technology strategy function and produced the Technology Vision for Health and Care working closely with Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock. The publication was quickly followed up by the creation of NHSX, an organisation combining NHS England and DHSC staff to provide digital and technology leadership for the health and care system. Iain is proud to be a founder member of NHSX and has worked closely with its CEO Matthew Gould on creating the transformation function within it. Prior to joining the civil service Iain worked for around 15 years in digital and technology transformation roles in the private sector.

Sonia Patel

National Chief Information Officer, Health and Social Care, NHSX

Sonia Patel

As the NHSX CIO for health and social care across England, Sonia’s key priorities are to:

  • provide a clear vision for 'What good digital transformation looks like’ for the nation
  • support in the best way possible the levelling-up of digital foundations for front-line organisations
  • shoring up local boards’ ownership of digital transformation
  • building a digitally confident workforce to provide new and meaningful ways to empower citizens health and well-being through the use of technology and data

Sonia brings 20 years of healthcare sector experience, and her breadth and wealth of knowledge has delivered digital innovation even in the most challenging of circumstances. She’s passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion, a big supporter of the shuri network and stemettes, and also actively mentors up and coming talent.

Tim Donohoe

Director of Delivery, Assurance and Operations, NHSX

Tim was formerly Chief Technology Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care where he was responsible for developing the department’s technology, digital and data strategy and researching and advising on the opportunities for better health and care presented by new and emerging technologies. Tim’s key current area of interest is in developing new approaches to the rapid delivery of transformational outcomes in the health and care system. He previously led the delivery of a complex, multi-billion pound portfolio of technology enabled change programmes and has also successfully led intervention teams on a number of failing programmes. Prior to joining the department, Tim worked for several years in both local government and the private sector delivering business transformation and outsourcing programmes.

David Turner

Chief Technology Officer, NHSX

David joined NHSX in May 2020 as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to NHSX, David was Group CTO for William Hill where, in addition to managing an IT department of over 200 delivering the global trading platform for all William Hill divisions including the US, he was responsible for delivering digital transformation across the business, including the use of facial recognition technology. Previously, David was Head of Architecture, Innovation and Strategy at Hermes, where he founded the Hermes Digital Lab to focus on the future business strategy. He has also been Technical Architect at Actian and Technical Architect/Chief Programmer at HSBC. There, amongst other programmes, he was responsible for defining the technical architecture and mid-tier design for HSBC's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

Dr Natasha Phillips

Chief Nursing Information Officer

Natasha Phillips

Dr Natasha Phillips is the national Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO) for England and Director of Mission 4: Safety. As national CNIO, her work includes ensuring nurses and midwives have a voice in digital transformation at all levels of the system. This is to ensure the CNIO8 principles that enable nurses and midwives to provide excellent care are at the heart of all digital change.Natasha is leading work to develop a roadmap for the future of nursing and midwifery based on these principles.

As director of NHSX's safety mission, Natasha’s work includes leveraging digital technologies in innovative ways to enable safer care. Natasha is leading the development of the Digital Clinical Safety Strategy, in partnership with NHS Digital and NHS England and NHS Improvement, and overseeing the expansion of digital clinical safety capabilities across the system.

Natasha is a critical care nurse and a clinical academic with research interests in clinical leadership, organisational development and nursing practice. She has held a number of senior operational leadership roles in the NHS and has led many transformational programmes of change involving the use of digital technologies and informatics. Her role at NHSX brings together her passions for nursing and continually improving our NHS for the people we serve and the people who work in it.

Teams that have joined NHSX

Programme teams that have joined NHSX from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care include:

  • artificial intelligence
  • cyber security
  • data transformation and policy
  • digital and technology strategy and oversight
  • digital urgent and emergency care, including NHS 111 online
  • digitising pharmacy
  • digitising providers - including global digital exemplars, our most digitally advanced trusts
  • elective care - including e-referrals
  • empowering the person - our citizen-facing digital portfolio, including the NHS App
  • integrating care locally
  • local health and care records
  • primary care digital transformation - including GP systems, data and digital services
  • social care
  • technical architecture

Find out more about the work of many of these teams on the NHS England digital transformation website.