NIHR Digital

Working together to personalise and modernise research

The NIHR Digital Transformation

The NIHR wants to make the most of digital so that we can accelerate treatments and improve outcomes for patients. We're doing this together through a cross NIHR programme of work and in partnership with patients, public and researchers. We have the opportunity to work together in innovative and exciting ways and we've created this site to support this. This work is supported by Dr Louise Wood (Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health) and Dr Jonathan Sheffield (CEO for the NIHR Clinical Research Network)

Working together to develop digital communities: NIHR charity engagement workshop, June 2019

In our latest blog, Sine Littlewood, Head of Business Development & Marketing (non-commercial), NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), talks about how NIHR colleagues are working together to explore how virtual communities can support the way that we engage with charities.

[Read more].

NHSX: giving patients and staff the technology they need

NHSX has just completed a major review of NHS tech spending. We went through all of the centrally funded tech programmes because we wanted to answer 3 big questions:

  • what are our priorities for technology in the NHS?
  • how can we make sure that what we do is aligned with the tech vision and the NHS Long Term Plan?
  • how do we live within our means?

Read the full blog from Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX.

Jargon busting for an 'internet-first' NHS

The Secretary of State is comfortable with tech-speak. The expectation is that NHS leaders should be too.

The latest exhortation from Matt Hancock in his role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is ‘internet first’ – the NHS has until March 2021 to move away from private networks like N3 and HSCN in favour of running digital services over the internet.

Dr Jon Shaw, co-founder of CareFlow Connect and System C’s director of clinical product strategy, talks about what this expectation means in practice [Read more].

NHS app opens up possibilities for the NIHR

The recent NHS X blog from Matthew Gould reflects the reality of how a mobile app based approach to Healthcare and research will work, stimulating an ‘ecosystem’ where aspects of a personal experience within the NHS can be realised, but not necessarily in one ‘app’. [Read Mick's blog]

NIHR Digital in action - CRN NENC

CRN North East and North Cumbria (NENC) is one of NIHR's digital exemplars. With an ageing population and a wide and varied geography, all of these factors made us all think: 'How can we do this better?'

Read more about how and where CRN NENC are using digital innovation to tackle and solve these challenges. [More]

NENC Elevator Pitch (With Captions).m4v

NHS70 - Go Digital

Last year marked the 70th birthday of the National Health Service. Watch their video promoting the importance of innovation and technology in the new age of the NHS.

NHSX Digital Transformation

NHSX is a new organisation that brings together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement. They’re here to improve health and social care by giving people the technology they need.

Dr. William van't Hoff, Clinical Director for NHS Engagement at the NIHR Clinical Resarch Network, comments "Working with the NHSX Assurance team was very helpful, emphasising how UX research can help inform user behaviours and needs, ahead of design, and helping us to consider the end-to-end decision making process for research participants".

Digital Transformation

They have a growing team of product managers, users researchers, technical architects and delivery managers that support and advise policy teams on digital delivery. If you would like some advice on a digital project such as procuring the right team, please get in touch using the details below.


They also provide assurance to digital projects across the health landscape, from screening services to the NHS app. Assurance can help you make sure you have the right skills and approach before starting work, as well as link you in with similar projects that might be able to provide support and advice. They also evaluate services and give feedback to help shape delivery.

Any recommendations are optional - they want to support you in the best way possible to help you deliver great services.

You can find out more about what NHSX do on their blog.

Here is an example of a self-assessment used as a forward look, and a service assessment looking back at work delivered.

Get in touch with the team:

Better tech will build relationships between clinicians and patients

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care spoke at the King's Fund Digital Health and Care Congress on 23 May 2019, to launch the new GP IT Futures contract. He spoke about:

  • the problem we’re trying to solve in digital healthcare
  • the approach we’ve taken to solving it
  • and what the future looks like if we succeed

[Read more]

Jonathan Sheffield - Digital Update - March 2019.mp4

What's next for NIHR Digital?

Jonathan Sheffield, CEO of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, updates on the next exciting stages of NIHR's digital transformation, including the NHS and NIHR apps and the interoperability of NIHR systems with the Health Research Authority and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

What NIHR Digital means to me

Nicola Yallup from the NIHR Digital Office talks about the NIHR digital transformation and how we can deliver impact through working together.

Digital launch video.wmv

Bringing NIHR Digital to life

Over the coming months we'll be bringing you examples and videos of how NIHR is implementing digital change in our business. In this video, Beth Moss, Chief Operating Officer for NIHR CRN East Midlands, and a member of the Digital Leadership programme, discusses the network's Digital Maturity plans. [Click to read their proposition]

Continuing our digital journey

In the coming months we will be continuing to grow the technological and cultural transformation that we are committed to, with a particular focus on how we deliver this in partnership.

We have refined our approach to provide an ambitious and achievable plan for future delivery and to set the foundations for the NIHR Digital Office that will support this. We have explored different ways of working across the NIHR and forged stronger partnerships internally (NIHR Coordinating Centres, CRN Accelerating Digital Programme and NIHR Digital Leadership Programme), and externally with our NHS partners with some exciting new joint projects on the horizon.

[Read more]