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Our strategy and role

NHS Digital is the national digital, data and technology delivery partner for the NHS and social care system. We design, build, deploy and operate national products, platforms and data services for patients, clinicians, those who manage the system and clinical researchers in the NHS, academia and the life sciences sector. 

Our systems serve up to 53 million citizens and 1.3 million NHS staff. They are designed for a wide cross section of use cases from complex technical risk evaluation models to highly-accessible patient-facing digital services. They carry huge load, operate to very high performance and reliability and are cyber secure.

Our role and remit

Collect and disseminate data

We ensure that external organisations can access the information they need to improve outcomes, and the public are confident that their data will be stored safely by NHS Digital.

Our goal is to maximise the accessibility, quality and utility of health and care data while respecting privacy, transparency and ethics.  

Run live services

We support the effective and efficient running of the health and care system by delivering scalable, secure services that are reliable and responsive to user needs, ranging from citizen-facing services like NHS.UK and the NHS App through to systems such as Electronic Prescribing Service and Demographics services.

Develop new products, services and enablers

We are developing the next generation of support tools for the health and care system so that benefits are felt by those working in the front line. Our goal is to create platforms and enablers on which innovation can flourish. 

Be a responsive and flexible delivery organisation

We seek ways to continuously improve so that we deliver services in an effective, efficient and responsive manner that meets user needs and ensures value for money. To do this, we need to make NHS Digital a desirable place to work to attract and retain the best talent. 

Support the UK response to COVID-19

A major element of our role since 2020 has been to leverage our live services, data and delivery capabilities to support the pandemic, including delivering digital services for NHS Test and Trace and running the Technology and Data workstream for vaccinations. 

Our responsibilities

Our legal duties include:

  • collecting, analysing and publishing health and care data
  • making submitting data as easy as possible for health and care staff
  • providing national technology for health and care services
  • producing information standards
  • improving the quality of health and care information and data
  • publishing national indicators for health and care, to measure quality of care and progress against policy initiatives
  • giving advice and support to health and care organisations on information and cyber security

Our place in the health and care system

Our official name is the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We have used the name NHS Digital since July 2016. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 ordered our creation by statute, and sets out our responsibilities. The Department of Health (DH) set up the HSCIC in April 2013, as an executive non-departmental public body.

Last edited: 7 November 2022 2:28 pm