New technology role created at mental health trust

Dr Toral Thomas. Photo: NSFT

Dr Toral Thomas. Photo: NSFT


The region’s mental health trust has created a new role to drive forward improvements in digital technology.

Dr Toral Thomas. Photo: NSFT Dr Toral Thomas. Photo: NSFT

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has appointed Dr Toral Thomas - a consultant forensic psychiatrist - as its first chief clinical information officer to lead developments and improve information management for the benefit of service users and patients.

Dr Thomas, who has worked in the trust’s secure services for the past two years, took up his post last week and will split his time between his new role and his existing clinical duties.

Dr Thomas will focus on a range of areas, including:

• Improving NSFT’s electronic patient record by liaising with IT teams and the frontline staff who use the system every day to ensure it works effectively for the benefit of patients;

• Extending electronic prescribing across the trust with the aim to improve safety by automatically warning clinicians about a patient’s allergies or any potential issues from combining different drugs, as well as reminding them when a medication review is due;

• Looking at the way data is collected and outcomes monitored so that information can be used to further improve patient care.

Dr Bohdan Solomka, medical director, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Toral as our first CCIO. It is an important role which we have been planning to introduce for some time and directly responds to some of the points raised by the CQC during its latest inspection.

“Toral will focus on what we can to do help our frontline clinicians use technology to improve the quality of everything we do and the care which our patients receive. He will act as a conduit between IT team and our frontline clinicians, who use the systems every day, and will feedback their views on our current systems as well as ideas for improvements.

“We look forward to working closely with him over the coming months and years to improve our systems and ultimately the care our patients receive.”

Dr Thomas, who completed his training with NSFT, said: “I am looking forward to helping our trust use technology to maximise the time we spend working with our service users.

“The technology will not replace the kindness and dedicated service we provide, but will hopefully serve to enhance it.

“In my new role I want to help take the great ideas which staff have on the clinical frontline forward and find ways to share some of the fantastic practice that happens every day throughout our trust.”

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