September 9, 2021

Paul Charnley

Digital Lead,
Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership

Paul’s dedicated his career to improving patient care through the use of technology, working at local, regional and national levels on largescale healthcare programmes, in the UK, Qatar and USA. He has a wealth of experience in health informatics with over 40 years’ of working in the industry, where he’s gained the respect and admiration of his colleagues. Not just in terms of the knowledge he brings to the programmes he works on, both at a strategic and operational level, but also because of how down-to-earth and humble he is as a person, always making time for others on a professional and also personal level, no matter how busy he is.

An ability that is no mean feat when you consider the top roles Paul has had, and when you factor in his commitments outside of work, as a husband to Liz who he’s been married to for over 40 years, a father to their five children, and grandfather to their five grandchildren, who it’s safe to say all equally keep him on his toes! So we’re nominating Paul for the CIO of the year award, as we feel it’s high time he gets the recognition he truly deserves, before he retires. Not just for the difference he’s made in his career and to the many colleagues he’s worked with, but ultimately because of the measurable impact he’s had on the care that patients receive, through driving and advocating for the use of technology.

There are many ways he’s achieved this and demonstrated the benefits of advanced digitization and local population health management; from delivering national platforms including the NHS Spine and Summary Care Record, procuring an Electronic Patient Record system, and leading a Global Digital Exemplar programme. To leading the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership’s digital programme, which under his leadership has gone from strength to strength. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the rapid implementation (within three months) of a population health management system called CIPHA, which was utilised to support the national Events Research Programme in building a COVID safety-net to allow events to reopen. Alongside furthering the adoption of our region’s health information sharing platform Share2Care, which helped to aid clinicians in the daily delivery of safer and more effective care to patients, at a time when services where particularly stretched due to the rise in COVID admissions.

Paul is also a Co-Chair of the NHSX Blueprinting Steering Committee, where he utilises his wealth of experience to provide advice and guidance on blueprints, and to advocate for their adoption. In order to help health and care organisations across the country to deliver digital capabilities more quickly and cost effectively than has been possible in the past, with the ultimate aim of improving services for patients and staff. Additionally, Paul leads the Cheshire and Merseyside Cyber Security Group, which has recently been applauded for its pro-active approach to testing how prepared our ICS would be to deal with an attack.

Other material:
Speaking about the role CIPHA played throughout the pandemic, Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said: “We’re sincerely thankful for all your hard work in establishing CIPHA. It’s an amazing achievement and the speed in which the Platform was set up, in the most challenging of circumstances, is truly outstanding and a testament to all involved. You’ve enabled Directors of Public Health, Public Health teams and strategic groups within the Liverpool Resilience Forums across C&M to have access to data that helps to inform their planning and understanding of the pandemic. Which has been key for managing our System’s response to this crisis and will be equally instrumental in driving our recovery moving forward”.

Speaking about the role Share2Care played throughout the pandemic, Dr Mona Fung, Associate CCIO at Liverpool University Hospitals said: “Share2Care ensures clinicians across C&M are able to access information that enables them to deliver safe, effective and efficient care to their patients, identify gaps in their care and to drive insight work such as proactive prevention. Outcomes, which have been particularly beneficial and apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when services and staff were stretched due to a rise in the number of COVID-related hospital admissions, and healthcare professionals needed to be able to access patient data without constraint.

Speaking about the scenario-based response exercise undertaken to test how ready the ICS was to deal with an attack, Andy Green, Chief information security officer at Gemserv said “This was the first time a cyber-breach and response scenario of this kind has been done at ICS level in the NHS. We went from looking at a damage limitation perspective, to a malicious insider, to a full-blown cyber-attack and NHS colleagues from other ICSs around the country also took part, to consider their own emergency preparedness procedures.

Further reading:
Paul speaks to IT Pro 20/20, sharing his knowledge and advice on what healthcare organisations can do to prepare for a cyber-attack.

Paul delivers a live webcast for the HTN on why Blueprints are so important in helping NHS organisations to deliver digital capabilities.

Paul shares that he became an NHS CIO to make a difference in healthcare, in an interview with Digital Health, when he was appointment as IT and information director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: