Kent and Medway NHS is comprised of three trusts; NHS West Kent, NHS Eastern and coastal Kent and NHS Medway. The Kent and Medway health informatics service (KMHIS) offers IT services for health care, mental health and private organisations based in Kent. The KMHIS is responsible for the infrastructure of all 15 of Kent’s NHS organisation. The organisation employs around 250 staff and is based in West Malling in Kent. The company is a strategic business IT venture for these NHS services. They offer a range of services including website management, staff training, providing remote access control, video conferencing and telephone support.

The managing director for the Kent and Medway health informatics services is Richard Gifford and has been with the organisation for two years. He has previously held IT director roles at construction firm ROK and MEMEC.

IT leader: Richard Gifford, Managing director.

In role since: Managing director health informatics service from August 2010 - December 2012.

Reporting line: Primary to the CEO plus the Board comprised of CEOs or their deputies.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO:  Regularly, at an absolute minimum, monthly.

Board level seat: Yes.

IT budget: £10 million revenue Capital budgets held by our customers.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: We have 40,101 end users; there are 38,775 full time employees and a number of contract staff.

IT staff currently employed: Around 250 permanent staff plus contract staff in order to flex capability and capacity as needed.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 100% in house.

IT management team and reporting structure: Five direct reports: Director of Strategy and Account Management, Director of Programmes and Projects, Director of Operations, Director of Special Projects, Director of HR.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: For the Acute hospitals it is the Patient Administration Systems. For the PCT’s it would be ePEX, which is integrated solution designed to support the inter-agency needs of the primary healthcare community including Community Nursing, PAMS, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Child Health, Elderly Services and Social Care. For the mental health trust it is RIO and electronic patient health record.

Primary technology suppliers: N3, BT, iSOFT, Ascribe.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Kent Network with N3, data centre with CSA Waverly.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: At present we cannot use cloud services due to security constraints around privacy of patient records.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: The major transformation project has been to turn the KMHIS from a failed IT services organisation to one which help its customers win. As a shared services organisation it had failed in its governance, didn’t understand its products and services and didn’t price these things correctly. The organisation has now shifted to a position that all these issues have been addressed the organisation has partners who ‘own’ the organisation, a delivery model that ensures the operational systems are highly available, that the customers understand what they pay for and is now winning tendered business including business from outside the county.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: The organisation continues to evolve and transform itself in line with an ever changing NHS and in anticipation of increased external competition.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: We have several programmes that are attempting to make patient information available to a wide variety of stakeholders in a safe and secure manner. To continue to assist customers in achieving their objectives which are to make significant cost savings while increasing the quality of services provided.

Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: This is not permitted at present although we are working on it.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: As the key supplier to the trusts in Kent the HIS is the key supplier and as such is addressing telehealth, telecare, wireless and BOYD in the workplace. We work through these issues by developing each not as a technology but as a service which includes controls and procedures. The recommendations are made available to Trust executives who are then able to make decisions based on risks we have surfaced ahead of purchasing the services from KMHIS.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: The transformation I have described is based on the transformation of an IT services organisation. However, in enabling our customers to win we are considering services orientated architecture, social networking and a number of collaboration tools.

Transformational inspiration sources: A number of sources including external speakers, case studies, press articles such as the Sunday Times Andrew Davidson interviews. At a practical level discussing the trusts objectives and issues with executives, to bounce ideas around and see what is likely to work. This approach coupled with the passion and energy I put into everything I do brings the transformations to life.