Buckinghamshire bodies appoint joint ICT director

Balvinder Heran takes on lead digital role for county council, healthcare trust and clinical commissioning group

A trio of Buckinghamshire authorities from local government and the NHS have appointed a shared ICT director.

Balvinder HeranBuckinghamshire County Council, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Buckinghamshire Clincial Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced that Balvinder Heran (pictured) will take up the role as joint strategic director of information assets and digital development in September.

The county council, which was awarded pilot status for one of eight Integrated Care Systems in the country, said it is the first of the pilot areas to create such a role

Heran will be accountable for the combined ICT strategy of all three organisations, which are beginning to work together in one of eight pilots for integrated care systems.

Heran is currently director of ICT at the London Borough of Hounslow, a non-executive director of Bromford Housing Group and a member of a joint steering group for overseeing a merger with Merlin House Groups and Severan Vale Housing. She has also spent time as joint strategic lead for shared working across four local authorities in the Midlands.

She will lead the overall system strategy for the three organisations, with the aim of reducing their dependence on existing legacy systems and contracts, and define the technology strategy for integrated care across Buckinghamshire.

Stronger position

Roger Majilton, deputy chief officer for the CCG, commented: “This new position will be a great benefit to Buckinghamshire CCG and its partner organisations and will put us in an even stronger position to deliver on the potential of an integrated care system.

“It will help us to adopt a truly coherent strategy across the health and care system, making the most of our ability to share information to improve health outcomes for residents and allowing all partners within the Buckinghamshire ICS to operate more efficiently.”

Heran said she is looking forward to “building new partnerships to create a lasting vision where ICT and digital transformation across Bucks is recognised as adding real value to the customer experience and high quality, value for money public services are delivered regardless of organisational boundaries.”

The move provides another dimension to efforts to integrate health and social care more closely around the country. It underpins the creation of sustainable transformation partnerships around England, and last month the Government pledged £7.5 million for each of three pilots to develop shared health and care records.

This article was amended on 20 June to remove a reference to it being the first appointment of its kind. It is understood there has been at least one such appointment in the past in Herefordshire.

Image from Buckinghamshire County Council