Delivering Digital as an Interim

Delivering Digital as an Interim

Andy Williams, Former Interim CDIO, Leeds Teaching Hospitals

David sits down with Andy Williams, as they discuss some the challenges around leading a tech function on an interim basis, within the NHS and some of the areas they’re focusing on. Not surprisingly, Andy highlights the importance of winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the team and walking before they run.


Challenges of leading transformation As an interim CDIO it’s about winning the hearts and minds of staff. We have 400 people in the department, from development technicians, project management, through to technologists and then information analysts and onwards. We’ve also got clinicians in that team as well, chief clinical information officers too to give the perspective of the clinicians in terms of requirements and usage. So I think actually being a credible leader and coming in as an interim, bringing stability to that team was the first challenge. Hopefully, you win that through being a credible leader by understanding what they need, delivering on that, quick wins.


Strategy Strategically, it’s delivering a strategy and a message in terms of rebalancing and refreshing the digital story. We’ve got a really strong application layer in terms of our systems, if we want to do the exciting technology, around AI, virtual and augmented reality we’ve got to look at the basics of our infrastructure which is archaic. We’ve got end-user compute that’s years old, we’ve got servers and technology that’s onsite. And we need to explore cloud technologies, both for disaster recovery and scalable performance and value for money. Those are the two challenges, how do you address people and get some credibility and the strategic position?


Delivering digital in complexity Engage with the clinicians and the managers of those services that need digital or information systems. Really understand what they need, if it’s something they already have that needs improving or if there’s a gap. Looking at the technologies out there as to what can be used and brought in whether it’s analysing where we do it ourselves which we do for our electronic health records, whether we’re going to buy that off the shelf or look at open source solutions or as a function whether we’re going to outsource an element of it. We are very ambitious as a trust, we’d love to use AI, we’d love to use augmented reality, virtual reality but we know we’ve got to get some of the basics fixed before we can launch and use those more widely. So we’re focusing on the basics but doing some proof of concept and piloting how those new technologies can be used in a clinical setting for the benefit of the patients and the clinicians providing those services.