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Charles Gutteridge appointed health informatics ‘tsar’

Published on: 07/01/10

The Department of Health has appointed its first national clinical director for informatics.

Charles Gutteridge has been medical director at Barts and the London Trust since 2002 and will take up the new role later this month.

Health informatics - the business of applying computing and communications technology to healthcare, education and research - underpins much of the work of the NHS.

“My colleagues know that good, accessible information enormously raises the quality of treatment and diagnosis we can provide to the public,” Gutteridge said.

“My work with medical undergraduates confirms that these expectations are strong amongst the next generation of doctors.”

As newly-designated ‘tsar’ in this area, he will be responsible for delivering informatics to improve patient care and facilitating dialogue between clinicians, patients and informatics providers.

Gutteridge has worked on patient safety, confidentiality and informatics issues at Barts, leading its Safer Patients Initiative from 2006 to 2008.

He also chaired the Clinical Informatics Design Authority which gave clinical advice about improving the use of the Cerner Millennium IT platform at the London Trust.

As a member of the London review acute group, he also offered clinical advice on health provision in the capital to the Darzi review and chaired the Association of UK University Hospitals’ Medical Directors group.

Gutteridge is a consultant haematologist at both Barts and at Newham General Hospital, as well as being a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists.

Christine Connelly, the Department of Health’s director general for informatics, praised Gutteridge’s pedigree.

“His clinical background, coupled with his extensive experience in patient safety and informatics issues, means he can provide leadership, ensuring we have clinical support as we implement change to benefit patients,” she concluded.

Gutteridge is the latest in a line of national clinical directors overseeing the implementation of a national service framework or major clinical or service strategy.

They work across a range of therapy areas and disciplines from the obvious, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney services, to the more abstract, like human rights and widening participation in learning. 

 

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