Vacancy -- Vice-Chair and Members - Digital Health and Care Wales

Vacancy details

Digital Health and Care Wales
The post holders may be required to travel to the head office in Cardiff and other locations across Wales to attend meetings and perform other duties associated with the roles. In response to COVID-19, meetings have also been held via digital platforms. Where this has proved effective this is likely to continue.

The post of Vice-Chair will be paid at £21,408 per annum, paid monthly or quarterly in arrears as agreed with DHCW.

The post of Independent Member will be paid at £9,360 per annum, paid monthly or quarterly in arrears as agreed with DHCW. 

Where an Independent Member is allowed time off from their current employment with pay to perform their duties, they will receive no additional remuneration for undertaking the Independent Member role. They will be treated in the same way as other employees who are given paid time off to undertake public duties.

Time commitment

The time commitment for these roles is based on a notional of a minimum of:

  • Eight (8) days per month for the Vice-Chair, and
  • Four (4) days per month for an Independent Member,

But this will be subject to organisational demands and is often higher than the minimum requirement.


Function of body

A Healthier Wales sets out the Welsh Government’s commitment to significantly increase investment in digital Health and Care. This will be a key part of transforming our health and social care system in Wales. A Healthier Wales acknowledges the significant challenge of driving digital change at pace and scale. It identifies priority areas for investment, describes a new ‘open platform’ approach to digital innovation, and recognises the need to strengthen national leadership and delivery arrangements.

During the NHS response to COVID-19 the approach toward digital health and care has allowed it to ensure continuing access to healthcare services.

Prior to this Welsh Government commissioned two major reviews of digital delivery in Wales following the Audit Wales report into “Informatics Systems in NHS Wales” published in January 2018 and the Public Accounts Committee report into “Informatics Systems in NHS Wales” published in November 2018. The first review explored how digital systems are designed to work together (‘the Digital Architecture Review’) and the second at delivery structures and decision making arrangements (‘the Health Informatics Governance Review’). These two reviews provide the context for changes to the approach and delivery of digital services across NHS Wales.

On 30 September 2019, the Minister for Health and Social Services announced that the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) would transition from its current structure, as part of Velindre Trust, to a new Special Health Authority (SHA).

Establishing our national digital services organisation as a dedicated organisation reflects the importance of digital technology as a key enabler of change, as set out in A Healthier Wales. This change will strengthen governance and accountability, both in terms of relationships with other NHS Wales organisations and through stronger leadership and oversight, through an independent chair and board members, with experience and understanding of digital change.”

Establishment of the new body also aligns with and responds to the work of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Care, and the reports and recommendations by Audit Wales and Public Accounts Committee.

Consultation on the functions of the Digital Special Health Authority for Wales commenced on 7 September 2020 and will run until 30 November 2020.

The functions subject to consultation are as follows:

Application Development and Support

DHCW will be a source for application and platform development within an ecosystem of other developers across Heath & Care and commercial partners.

It will provide support in the design, development and testing against the national architecture regardless of the organisation developing the application. For example, whether applications are developed ‘in-house’, elsewhere within Health and Care or are procured from commercial partners.

The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for Health and Care (and their relevant officials) will determine national architectural standards agreed by Welsh Government.

Digital Services design, commissioning, planning & delivery

DHCW will support the delivery of new technologies and software across the Health and Care Sector in Wales. 

It will support the strategic planning, procurement, contract management, communication, business change and delivery of projects and programmes in Health and Care in Wales.

Information and Communications Technology

DHCW will play a key role in the provision of IT services and infrastructure to support national services used across the Health and Care sector in Wales. 

Quality Management & Regulatory Compliance

DHCW will be a source of quality management and regulatory compliance guidance to ensure that digital solutions and services used across the Health and Care Sector in Wales are of the necessary regulatory quality in order to provide safety for patients and professionals, ensuring patient information is treated with the appropriate governance.


Information Management

DHCW will be the central, recognised Trusted Third Party for Health and Care data, information and intelligence about and/or arising from the provision of Health and Care services in Wales.

DHCW will establish and operate digital systems for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information, where that information is required to support the provision of Health and Care services in Wales and as directed by Welsh Government.

This will include the requirement for bodies in Wales delivering publicly funded Health & Care Services to provide information as required in accordance with Welsh Government instructions. 

Information Governance

DHCW will support development and maintenance of a national Information Governance Framework which supports Health and Care Information Governance policy in Wales.

DHCW will support the development by utilising expertise and experience in interpreting the law, providing advice, guidance and compliance assessments.

Cyber Security

DHCW will provide a strategic Cyber Security function on behalf of Health and Care in Wales and will be the liaison with other home countries and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The DHCW Cyber Security Unit, alongside the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for Health and Care Wales and their relevant officials, will set minimum standards for NHS Wales including undertaking the roles required of the Competent Authority on behalf of Welsh Ministers, in accordance with the Network & Information Systems Directive. 

Finance and Business Assurance

DHCW will ensure that all of their financial risks and savings are recognised and managed.

DHCW will manage its delegated budgets and will make decisions in accordance with the detailed arrangements within the annual remit letter.

Reporting Services

DHCW will be responsible for the dissemination and use of data collected by national IT systems.

Workforce Improvement

DHCW will assist Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to provide digital workforce transformation, education and improvement.

The creation of DHCW will represent a new strategic approach to developing and delivering the digital architecture and systems for the NHS in Wales.


The Welsh Government will establish DHCW as a Special Health Authority using powers set out in the National Health Services (Wales) Act 2006. Legislation will be laid before the Senedd over the coming months to allow us to proceed with the recruitment of the independent board that will oversee the work of DHCW.

The Welsh Government began the recruitment process for the Non-officer members of the Board in November 2020. Plans for the recruitment of the Executive Officers are in the process of being agreed. This will allow governance arrangements to be established in advance of the establishment of the new organisation on 1 April 2021.

Bob Hudson has been appointed as the Interim Chair from 6 November 2020, to guide the transition to DHCW, subject to the will of the Senedd in relation to the legislation necessary for DHCW’s establishment.

Candidates need to be aware that should the legislation laid before the Senedd not be passed, any appointments made via this recruitment process will not be progressed and the campaign will cease with immediate effect.


Part of NHS Wales

The new organisation will be a new body in the NHS Wales family, playing its role alongside health boards, trusts and Health Education and Improvement Wales, the other Special Health Authority on the NHS Wales Executive Team. The staff will be NHS employees and where possible all systems and processes will be those of NHS Wales.

Role description

In conjunction with the Chair and Executive Officers, the Vice-Chair* and Independent Members of the Board will be responsible for:

  • establishing and taking forward the strategic aims and objectives of DHCW consistent with its overall purpose and within the policy and resources framework determined by the Minister for Health and Social Services;
  • contributing to the work of the Board, based upon their independence, past experience and knowledge, and ability to stand back from the day-to day-operational management;
  • analysing and critically reviewing complex information and contributing to sound decision-making, ensuring the decisions are open and transparent;
  • ensuring compliance with any statutory or administrative requirements in respect of the use of public funds and legislation relevant to the organisation;
  • ensuring the organisation operates within the limits of its statutory authority and any delegated authority agreed with Welsh Government, and in accordance with any other conditions relating to the use of public funds and legislative requirements
  • ensuring that, in reaching decisions, it takes into account guidance issued by the Welsh Government;
  • ensuring that it receives, reviews and scrutinises regularly, financial information concerning the management of DHCW;
  • ensuring that it is informed in a timely manner about any concerns as to the activities of DHCW and that, where applicable, it provides positive assurance to the Minister for Health and Social Services, via the Health and Social Services Group that appropriate remedial action has been taken to address any such concerns;
  • demonstrating high standards of corporate governance at all times, including by using appropriate Committees to help the Board to receive assurance and address key financial and other risks;
  • ensuring a positive culture and promote the values and standards of conduct for the organisation and staff; and
  • working closely with NHS bodies, the public, private and third sector organisations, making sure that the views of patients, carers and families are fully involved in helping to shape, develop and improve services.

In time, successful candidates will be expected to fully understand the business and through active involvement support the effective performance of the organisation.


*In addition to the above the Vice-Chair will also be responsible for:

  • providing strong, effective and visible leadership, across digital systems and services within primary, community, mental health and learning disability services. Internally through the board and its committees and externally through their connections with a wide range of stakeholders and partners within the wider community;
  • deputising for the Chair and leading the Board in their absence, performing additional functions as agreed with the Chair; and
  • participating as a member of the All Wales Vice-Chairs Network.

Welsh language skills

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing bilingual capabilities in public appointments in Wales, and welcomes applications from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh.  The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the recruiting body of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.
Can read simple material on everyday topics with understanding
Can write basic messages on everyday topics
Can understand basic conversations about everyday topics
Can hold some work-related conversations

Person specification

Essential Criteria

Experience of at least one of the following areas:

  • Health and care sector experience;
  • A broad understanding of digital platforms, systems and services;
  • Strategic leadership;
  • Governance/Legal;
  • Business/strategic planning;
  • Finance/Accounting;
  • HR/workforce planning;
  • Improvement work; or,
  • Communications/Marketing.


Knowledge and experience:

  • an understanding of the issues and priorities that are likely to be important to DHCW and the ability to understand the role and work of the Board;
  • an ability to hold the executive officers to account for performance whilst maintaining a constructive relationship;
  • ability to think strategically and to exercise sound judgement on a range of sensitive and complex issues;
  • ability to analyse and interpret detailed information;
  • an understanding of how diverse groups bring their lived experiences as transferable skills and experience
  • * In addition the Vice-Chair will have experience of a leadership role within the   private, public or third sectors, with the ability to look ahead and provide strategic leadership


Skills and Personal Attributes:

  • good communication skills and the ability to engage with employees, employee representatives and stakeholders to help shape, develop and improve services;
  • a clear commitment to understanding and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; and
  • ability to show an appreciation of bilingualism and culture, and a commitment to promoting and mainstreaming of the Welsh language.

*In addition the Vice-Chair will have:

  • the ability to be an effective advocate and ambassador, instilling vision, together with the ability to influence others;
  • ability to facilitate understanding of complex issues while demonstrating respect for the views of others;
  • sound judgement, sensitivity and political awareness; and
  • strong understanding of digital platforms, systems or services and a working knowledge of how these are utilised to enable change.

Interview dates

1 February 2021
12 February 2021

Closing date

04/01/2021, 17:00

Additional information


Welsh Language Skills

Welsh Language Skills are essential for one successful candidate (either Member or Vice-Chair) and desirable for others but not a pre-requisite for the remaining appointments. However, all candidates will be expected to show commitment towards the language and culture, and demonstrate leadership to strengthen and promote bilingual service provision within the NHS in Wales. The level of skill required is as follows:


Understanding = 3 - Can understand routine work-related conversations; 

Reading = 3 - Can read some routine work-related material with support e.g. dictionary; 

Speaking = 4 - Can converse in most work-related conversations; and 

Writing = 3 - Can prepare routine work-related material with checking.


Understanding = 2 - Can understand basic conversations about everyday topic;

Reading = 2 - Can read simple material on everyday topics with understanding; 

Speaking = 3 - Can converse in some work-related conversations; and

Writing = 1 - Can write basic messages on everyday topics.



For further information regarding the selection process, please contact: 

Public Appointments Team Public Bodies Unit Email: .

For further information regarding the role of the Vice-Chair or an Independent Member, please contact Bob Hudson, Interim Chair or Ifan Evans, Programme Director. 

Tel: 07453 978482 Email: 

Tel: 03000 251496 Email: 

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

The closing date for this position has been extended to 12:00, 04.01.21.


How to apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system.  You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form.  To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates.  This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4.  Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.  The second document is a full, up to date CV.  The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.

In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities.  We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years. 

It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence.  You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go.  You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Commissioner for Public Appointments logo

This vacancy is closed to applications.