Health Informatics Career Framework
Workshop (13.3.08) – Three Albion Place, Leeds
A project is currently underway to develop a Health Informatics Career Framework (HICF).
The approach is based on the Skills for Health wider career framework for health. Informing
Healthcare (Wales) are leading on the development of the HICF, in partnership with
Connecting for Health. A workshop took place in Leeds on 13 th March 2008 and brought
together around 40 HI practitioners and stakeholders to evaluate the draft HICF. These are
the notes in relation to the main points that were raised.
Gaps in the framework
The following gaps were identified in the framework:
- Information Facilitators
- Information Governance/Data Quality – may be a separate strand
- ICT Maintenance
- Clinical Auditors
- IT business managers
- Change management and modernisation
- Application management roles
- Assistant support role – who will go to Application management of with password etc
(application management and support). They will also have web trainers.
- Business Case Development Officer
- Procurement Officer
- Web Developer
- Data Quality Managers
- Audit Managers
- Business change/service improvement facilitators
- World class commissioning analysts
Roles missing such as relationship management, contract management that may exist in
SHA, also exist in Acute PCT’s.
Roles exclusive to PCTs – Director of HI/Head of IM & T (under HI Managers & Directors) –
develop architecture required. Also a programme office to design and build modernisation
programme (CIOs might be doing this role).
Need Director of Health Informatics – specific responsibility to develop architecture. (design,
build & implementation) skill set and managing successful programmes – overview of all
Pan organisational planning roles to implement HI roles may be hidden within other roles (1
day a week and other time spent planning say pharmaceutical and budget requirement,
government targets). This is within SHA & PCT.
PCT Acute Trust
- Head of IM & T
- Head of ICT
- Programme Manager – Architect of Programme that everybody will communicate (Pan
System/Application manager roles missing – i.e. those ensuring the system is used as it
should be. There is a whole team missing here. We need an extra column for System
Management/Application Management and Support.
There may well be other roles missing, but they might also be hidden with existing roles.
Restructuring of the framework
Some restructuring of the framework was suggested:
- HI Managers and Directors cut across the different staff groups rather than vertical strand
– change to Strategy Management
- ICT staff should be broken down into (i) service management, (ii) systems management
(iii) infrastructure support (iv) development
Information could be presented differently with competences and roles at the forefront instead
of levels. This would help to identify transferable skills.
Roles should be merged across columns/heading. Hierarchical tree table may be more useful
(3 dimensional to take in the levels).
Levelling of roles within the framework
Project managers and programme managers – debate about the level they sit in and also
whether they actually fit within the HI career framework or the broader SfH framework.
Programme Manager should be same level as Head of IM & T, i.e. have the same level of
competency, as they are the architect of the programme that everyone is participating in (level
8) (has been recommended by PCT Chief Executive).
Agenda for Change
Agenda for Change banding/levels – implementation and buy-in could be difficult if they don’t
Reference to the KSF may be unhelpful and Agenda for Change relationship requires
KSF outlines that are the same for job roles within the same capsule of the framework.
SHAs and PCTs in England
The roles currently included are quite ‘traditional’ ones within HI and in England there is need
to acknowledge SHA type roles and emerging hybrid roles.
SHA role is different to that of a Trust. Has a broader view and deals with problems and
performance management of Trust. Also has to share best practice.
SHA Level changed from a perceived vacuum during the formation of CfH and its
responsibilities, to gearing up to delivering on strategic NPfIT projects.
Distinctions between local and national responsibilities may need considering, particularly at
Role of informatics changing to management of information, rather than who does this, its
about supporting application of informatics within organisation.
Challenge of placing the roles of a technical architect or highly trained IT specialist within the
Public Health have their own framework. How will this fit in, given the overlap between HI and
Public Health (intelligence and information)?
Stakeholder manager can be informatics or clinical, but must understand business
needs/implications whilst working within informatics strategy.
Framework is useful, but pigeon holing people in an existing career is difficult as many roles
extend beyond primary competences.
Some roles may only progress within their family.
Problematic with not seeing the bigger picture (i.e. wider career framework for health) and
what other roles do.
Issue: job titles are not consistent across different organisations (e.g. project managers)
Do Trusts employ Design, Build and Test managers? Yes.
Are we happy that an administrator should not be included in the overview as this is not an HI
specialist function? It is appropriate to include this role since it is often a source of
progression into HI.
Head of IM & T may be more suitable in Information Management.
Need to be aware that clinical staff are changing to become informaticians.
Is Deployment a separate role? Do they have a map of skills? Foundation trust is responsible
for deployment SRO responsible for deployment. Probably mixed. SHA helps deployment at
trust level, he is there as a resource. SHAs may provide deployment help to smaller trusts.
This should be supported.
There needs to be some link between the clinical informatics staff – e.g. nurses perhaps need
to be included as they take over ward clerk role in the evening. As technology grows and
clinicians and nurses take on more and more informatics tasks, many existing HI roles may
Critical to link to other areas such as public health, audit, performance management, service
change/improvement as these are areas where informatics staff often move into.
Important to look at specifying roles lower on the framework to develop placements for
Acknowledging that this is a starting point for the informatics careers framework. Lots more
work will need to be done after March - how will this be taken forward? Particularly around the
areas of Clinical Information Careers and also in the development of new roles which bridge
the gap between Agenda for Change grade 7 posts and grade 9.
Would be useful to test and improve the framework with HIS and an NHS organisation with
large HI department.