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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Part of NHS Digital annual report and accounts 2021-22

Our role and organisation

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Our role

NHS Digital is the national digital, data and technology delivery partner for the NHS and social care system, with expertise in the design, development and operation of complex IT and data systems.

We collaborate with partners across the NHS, social care, the health tech sector, and life sciences research to support better health and patient outcomes, better experiences, and better value for money. 


  • build the core IT and data infrastructure, platforms and live services on which the NHS and social care system relies and we run this infrastructure to the highest standards of reliability and security
  • design and develop digital products that help NHS and care staff do their work and that put people in control of their health and care
  • provide a centre of excellence in cyber security, offering deep technical expertise and national services that help organisations across the NHS defend their systems from digital threat
  • offer data services that transform care and support ground-breaking life sciences research. We collect, connect and disseminate some of the world’s most valuable health datasets and, as the primary provider of official statistics and analysis to the system, play an important role in improving the efficiency and quality of frontline services
  • protect people’s private information, acting as the data custodian for England’s health and care system and insisting on the highest standards of privacy, transparency and information governance across our services

Our organisation

During 2021-22, our programmes, services and corporate functions were organised into 8 directorates. There were 5 core delivery directorates: Product Delivery, Data Services, IT Operations, Platforms, and Cyber Operations. These directorates were all closely supported by our Privacy, Transparency, Ethics and Legal function, which sits in our Strategy, Policy and Governance directorate. The performance report is structured around the objectives and achievements of each of these delivery directorates in 2021-22. The performance analysis section and the governance statement set out our purpose, operating environment and the issues and risks affecting delivery over the past year.Image of organisation structure

NHSX, our key partner in the digital transformation of health and social care, integrated with the Transformation Directorate at NHS England in early 2022.

Last edited: 18 November 2022 1:09 pm