A brief history of movers and shakers in the UK . NHS.
Andy Kinnear, the winner of the inaugural Digital Health Award for outstanding contribution to the profession, has had a career path he describes as “slightly haphazard”. So why is the director of digital transformation at South, Central and West CSU so convinced of the value of professionalising the field?
Almost three decades on and he finds himself as one of the best known chief information officers in the English health service – sufficiently well respected for his peers to have voted him the winner of the first Digital Health Award for outstanding contribution to the profession. But ask him how he went from data analysis to directing digital transformation programmes across regions and he speaks of getting there “despite the system, not really because of it”.
2018 Digital Health Award Winner Profile: Andy Kinnear: Claire Read speaks to Andy Kinnear, the winner of the 2018 Digital Health Award for outstanding contribution to the profession, about professionalisation.
A journey to professionalisation
It meant that, within a year, he was leading a team of 12 across the full digital portfolio. From there, he didn’t look back. But it is not a career journey he wants others to repeat. “I just don’t think the next generation, and certainly the one after that, should go through this slightly haphazard journey.
“I think that digital has become so critical to healthcare that the people who are in charge of it need to be proven, competent, invested-in individuals with the necessary skills, but also maintaining a level of accreditation to fulfil that function.”
He’s spent a lot of time trying to create such a setup, and it is those efforts which his peers voted to recognise with the Digital Health Award. As chair of BCS Health for instance, Kinnear has been integral to the foundation of the Federation for Informatics Professionals. It’s an organisation he sees as crucial to professionalisation.
“If you look at the way other professions have become mature and have successfully developed, one of the things they’ve done is they’ve had active and vibrant professional bodies,” he argues.
“And so my work with the BCS [The Chartered Institute for IT] and then colleagues in Socitm and in CILIP [Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals] and in IHRIM [The Institute of Health Records and Information Management] with the medical records managers and now with AphA [Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts], collectively to create the Federation of Informatics Professionals has been one of the jigsaw pieces to create a profession.”