NHS England Creates Open Source 'Super' Community Organization

Rebecca McBeth | digitalhealth.net | June 25, 2015

NHS England has set up a ‘super CIC’ to act as a centre of excellence and attract funding for open source projects within health and social care. Peter Coates, NHS England's open source programme manager, told Digital Health News the new community interest company has already received a number of grants, including money from NHS England, to progress outcomes around urgent care and the Code4Health programme.

The Open Source Software Foundation for Health and Social Care, or super CIC, has three founding members; Bill Aylward, director of the OpenEyes electronic patient record programme at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Phil Kozcan, chief clinical information officer at UCL Partners; and Joe McDonald, chair of the Digital Health CCIO Network. Coates said the three clinicians work in a variety of settings and understand the barriers faced by the NHS in adopting open source technology.

The benefit of creating a CIC is that it will be a “highly flexible and agile organisation”, able to react and respond quickly to a changing environment. “The larger CIC centre of excellence will be the vehicle that will attract funding from a range of sources - public and private sector and NGOs - in order to deliver systems that are really useful and usable and will deliver better patient outcomes in a more efficient way,” he said. The super CIC will then distribute funds to the mini-CICs, developed to be custodians of particular open source software. Coates said it will be fully transparent, with information published online regarding where money has come from and where it has gone...