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NHS National Director sets the tone for new professional standards

Matthew Swindells, NHS England's National Director of Operations and Information, has been announced as the first Leading Practitioner to have their name added to the newly-established FEDIP Register.

The FEDIP (Federation for Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care) brings together professional bodies and societies from across the informatics field, with the aim of supporting one another, and building shared professional standards to support health and care through the best use of information and technology.

In establishing the Register of certified professional informaticians, the goal is to build better health and care by bringing together and inspiring the professionals who can harness information and technology, and have the integrity to put people and their communities first.

The FEDIP Register is underpinned by rigorous professional standards, helping to reassure the public that registered individuals involved in supporting their care, through information and technology, are assessed as meeting a level of professional competence suitable for practicing in the sector.

FEDIP, as an idea, was conceived following discussions with some of the leading bodies in the sector, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, together with CILIP, IHRIM, Socitm and UKCHIP on how best to support informatics professionals in their journey to transform health and care services through the use of information and technology. Ultimately, it aims to create a robust and supported community who can ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

Matthew Swindells said: “I am honoured to be the first Leading Practitioner to join the FEDIP Register through BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, which is a significant milestone in professionalising this important community.I hope that by joining the Register, I am making a statement as to the significant value that I, and senior management in the NHS, place on this initiative, and something which all of us within this professional community should seek to achieve.

Although I joined through BCS, it is the collaboration between the licensed professional bodies that delivers its true value. With the Register, it is crucial that we not only engage across the Health and Care Informatics community, but also across the wider information management and technology community if we are to deliver the ultimate aim of FEDIP, which is to support health and care through the best use of knowledge, information and technology. I urge others in our community to come forward and follow my lead.”

Commenting on the establishment of a professional register, Jeremy Barlow, Director of Standards at BCS, and FEDIP Management Board Chair said: “There is already an existing community of passionate, connected people working in this specialism, and who are at the heart of delivering on a joined-up system to benefit all. The establishment of this register will go a significant way in supporting the community in their skills and behaviours.”

Informatics professionals interested in joining the Register need to provide written evidence of their knowledge and competence, which is assessed against the professional competence and context criteria set out in the  FEDIP standard.

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