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Introduce digital transformation fellowships

Last updated: 03:27pm 8 December 2019

…and introduce digital transformation fellowships, so that hundreds of leaders from the world of tech can come into government to help deliver better public services.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.82

Our verdict

In 2017 in the UK, nine adults out of ten reported using the internet. An increasingly digitalised landscape presents opportunities to deliver new public services online, which, in turn, may improve outreach and efficiency, as in the case of ‘online justice’. The idea behind digital transformation fellowships is to accelerate the modernisation of government by bringing leaders from the tech world into the public sector. This is a promise to use such schemes to bring hundreds of tech leaders into government.

In Apri 2018, the NHS launched the Digital Pioneer Fellowship. This scheme supports up to 30 clinicians or health professional to design and deliver digital transformation projects. Moreover, in September 2019, the NHS began the Topol programme for Digital Fellowships, which will support and train a cohort of 18 clinicians to ensure world-leading expertise in digital health services.

According to the evidence we were able to find, healthcare is the only sector which has seen digital fellowships introduced, with a total of about 50 new fellows every year. However, these fellowships are designed to provide clinicians with project management and business skills, rather than bringing leaders from the tech sector into government, as indicated in the manifesto.

With no available evidence of fellowships aimed at drawing in tech leaders, this policy is ‘not started’.

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