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Sarah Wilkinson

Chief Executive at NHS Digital
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Copyright NHS Digital


Professional biography

Sarah Wilkinson is CEO of NHS Digital, the executive body of the Department of Health which provides information, data and IT systems for health and social care nationally.

In each of the last four years Sarah has been named within the top ten in the TechUK 50, Computer Weekly’s annual ranking of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in the UK IT Industry. She was named Chief Digital Officer of the year in 2017 by the CDO Club, the world’s largest community of C-suite digital and data leaders. In 2016, she was named in the CIO 100, CIO Magazine’s ranking of the most transformative and disruptive CIOs in the UK.

She lives in Wimbledon with her husband and two teenage sons.

Previous positions / experience

Prior to joining NHS Digital, Sarah was CIO at The Home Office, with responsibility for the delivery of technology services for the UK Border, Visas and Immigration, Asylum, Policing and Counter-Terror. Prior to that, Sarah spent 23 years in Financial Services during which she held CIO roles at Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

She has previously held non-executive roles on the board of the Police ICT Company, the Holmesdale Building Society and two technology start-ups.

Non-NHS Digital positions / awards

Sarah is also a Non-Executive Director of NatWest Markets, the investment banking arm of The NatWest Group, a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of Kings College London and a member of the advisory board of the Department of Computing at Imperial College.

Sarah read Mathematics at Imperial College, holds an MBA from London Business School and a Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma, and is a CEDR-certified mediator.


Sarah Wilkinson, CEO of NHS Digital
By Sarah Wilkinson. 25 September 2020
Clinical data is acutely private and confidential, and patients rightly demand that it is handled with great care. Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital, explains more.

News articles

NHS Digital article
18 October 2019
Nearly 70 GP IT system suppliers are to be awarded contracts to supply IT systems via the new GP IT Futures framework.
NHS Digital article
12 September 2019
NHS Digital partners with University of Oxford, Microsoft and IBM for pioneering new venture.
NHS Digital article
26 June 2019
NHS Digital’s chief executive Sarah Wilkinson has been named in the top 100 most influential women in UK India relations.
NHS Digital article
23 May 2019
Top technology companies will be challenged to develop new, innovative GP IT systems to empower patients to access more health services online and through their phones, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces today .
NHS Digital article
23 May 2019
NHS Digital has issued an invitation to tender for existing and new suppliers to deliver a new IT systems framework for primary care.
NHS Digital article
7 January 2019
NHS Digital's chief executive, Sarah Wilkinson, has welcomed the focused on digital technology in the NHS Long Term Plan published today.
NHS Digital article
3 December 2018
An exciting new alliance will bring the UK’s leading academics together with forward thinking health data specialists, to develop new ways to design and support the medical research of the future, to improve the care patients receive from the NHS.
NHS Digital article
17 October 2018
Outdated and obstructive NHS IT systems will become a thing of the past, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said as he launches his technology vision today.
NHS Digital article
10 October 2018
A new technology innovation centre will open later today at Great Ormond Street Hospital, with backing from us and several technology companies, to transform the use of technology including artificial intelligence in healthcare and improve patient outcomes.
NHS Digital article
28 September 2018
28 September 2018: NHS Digital CEO, Sarah Wilkinson, told clinicians and senior health leaders how a ‘new wave of data’ offers huge advantages to the health and care sector, in a keynote speech at the UK Health Show this week.
NHS Digital article
26 June 2018
26 June 2018 - An initiative has been launched to ensure private healthcare data is recorded in the same way as NHS data in England, with the aim of improving consistency across the system.
NHS Digital article
9 May 2018
A statement from NHS Digital on the Memorandum of Understanding with the Home Office
NHS Digital article
15 April 2018
In relation to the Health Select Committee's report into the memorandum of understanding on data sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office, NHS Digital's Chief Executive, Sarah Wilkinson, has issued the following statement.