Elizabeth Way

Elizabeth Way | NHS Digital

Elizabeth Way

I stared my career in technology by working in a Housing Association moving their support paperwork to online systems.

Looking back at that role I realise I was acting as Project Manager, Product Owner and User Centered Design. I was really keen to ensure that systems put in place didn't hinder the work these excellent support workers were doing. They were out dealing with sensitive situations and needed the technology to help them get paperwork stored safely and securely, ready for onward monitoring to save them inputting time at the end of their day whilst also ensuring it wasn't a barrier to the support work they needed to provide.

I moved on from that role to gain experience working with other Project and Product people in technology and worked at Skills for Care, an organisation helping create a skilled and valued adult social care workforce. There I was part of the team managing the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care ensuring.

I then moved onto what is now NHS Digital, initially in project and programmes, working on developing a new strategic data platform for health care data. My initial role was to define what that technology and service would look like in order to obtain the relevant funding. This meant involving a wide range of people from across various disciplines to ensure we could communicate the vision in an effective way, whilst also working in a time of increasing advancement in the technologies available to us, meaning constant design improvement.

I then moved into Product Management - leading the prioritisiation of developments and operational processing on the platform. Now I have also moved into leading the development of the next version of the data platform, ensuring we use the new technologies available to best meet the needs of the users and consumers of the health care data it holds.


Priyanka Mittal

Priyanka Mittal | NHS Digital

Priyanka Mittal

Over the past 18 years of my professional experience, I have been privileged enough to work with public/private organisations across multiple sectors like Financial, Retail and now Healthcare.

But the real journey started much earlier than I realised. I grew up in India and since my childhood I had keen interest in STEM subject and as I moved along through my school this became even more prominent. I studied Maths, Physics, Biology & Chemistry for A-Level equivalent, which was very unusual for girls at that time.
My real opportunity to understand more about Technology came in the summer of 1997, when I started pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. This was the stepping-stone for building my knowledge about Technology. The three years exposed to me a world of programming, algorithms and databases which was fascinating for me, which intrigued me to continue further to do Master in Computer Application which I completed with a "Distinction".

I began my corporate career with a leading Indian consultancy as a Software Engineer in 2003, responsible for designing and developing applications. Working with a big US based financial service client (GE Capital) on time critical Ecommerce projects for more than 2 years provided me a solid foundation on the ways of working and various practices/standards (like Six Sigma, Lean) required to deliver good quality solutions.

The next big professional change came when I moved to UK in 2006 and started working with investment bank Goldman Sachs. The four and half years were a masterclass in work culture, team building, embracing diversity and delivering world class solutions in record times using ground-breaking tools and technologies. Few highlights were working on Kraft takeover of Cadbury, economic crisis of 2008 and its aftermath followed by the regulatory changes it brought in the industry.

Next plunge I took was in Retail sector working for Wm Morrisons Supermarket Plc, fourth largest food retailer. Morrisons had initiated a multi-year, multi-million-pound business change and transformation programme for replacing its existing IT (mainframe) systems with world leader Oracle Retail systems to support the current and future growth of the business. As the technical lead I was responsible to lead one of the largest Oracle retail implementations within Europe. This was a complex transformation impacting each and every aspect of the business including supply chain, distribution, finance, retail & commercial systems/processes. I was also instrumental in delivering the first pilot of Convenience stores, critical for the business strategy.

The journey till here was quite interesting, fast paced and full of challenges, but I wanted to experience a more tangible use of technology and in my quest to understand how technology can improve health and benefit citizens I moved to NHS Digital over 3 years ago. Here I was given the fantastic opportunity to lead on the Cloud based technical architecture of two national level programmes, which were/are key in digitising health care and materialising the vision of an empowered NHS patient. Both the programmes have been the backbone of the UK government’s response to the challenges Covid-19 has thrown in the social and health care.

In my career I have kept positive attitude towards challenges and have turned them into opportunities. By now I have worked at different levels and in all most all disciplines of information technology and this has given me the skills which enable me to adapt to the ever-changing needs of businesses, stakeholders, colleagues and most of all changing trends in technology.


Emma Summers

Emma Summers | NHS Digital

Emma Summers

Emma Summers, Programme Head at NHS Digital, is leading the delivery of UK-wide patient safety enabling information systems, including the Medical Devices Information System.

She specialises in digital transformation across the healthcare sector, having previously held leadership roles in infrastructure (NHSmail) and data (Covid National Testing Platform) programmes. She is passionate about empowering patients to contribute and use their healthcare data, through health system interoperability, to ensure data save lives.

Emma has dedicated most of her career to healthcare including 12 years leading strategic planning, digital or data transformation programmes for NHS provider organisations. Prior to this, she led mobile-system and process re-engineering programmes in the telecoms industry.


Clare Cooke

Clare Cooke | NHS Digital

Clare Cooke

My passion for supporting our NHS and improving the lives of patients started when I joined NHS Digital in 2004, in 17 years I’ve never found anything more I wanted to work on.

My enthusiasm for technology goes way back. I credit that to my father who bought me an Astro Wars electronic table top game at the age of 7. He bought it for me, not my brother, for me. In 1981, when gender stereotypes were the norm, that was a big deal.

Clare Cooke is the Lead Product Owner for the NHS National Spine. The NHS National Spine is a set of complex business critical systems serving the NHS and wider. She spends much of her day talking to people about the ‘things’ they want the team to build, she also spends a lot of her time talking to the team about how they can make the ‘things’ happen. These are important ‘things’. They are things that keep children safer, they are things that improve the efficiency of NHS workers so they can care for more people quicker, they are things that make patients safer. What time is left is spent fuelling another passion, which is supporting staff in achieving their full potential and career aspirations and also reflecting on how lucky she is to have such a talented team supporting her in realising the ’things’.


Gillian Elliot-Hardman

Gillian Elliott-Hardman | NHS Digital

Gillian Elliot-Hardman

I was brought up on a council estate in small town called Colne in Lancashire, where I was one of 6 children and the eldest girl.

As you can imagine there were limited opportunities, hence why I was the only child who went to university. I was one of only 3 girls on this degree and I graduated with a BSc Degree in Business Computing and followed this up with a Postgraduate Degree in Teaching and spent several years as an IT Tutor, teaching IT literacy skills to young adults at Burnley College and then moved to a career in IT Service Management.

My mother died suddenly when I was 27, this left me absolutely devastated. Whilst on bereavement leave, I was called in and told that I must return to work, I wasn’t given any support during this difficult period, my work declined, and I was demoted. This proved to be a turning point for me, and I knew that this wasn’t how you treated people and within a few months I had left. I then embarked on a number of IT Service Management roles in various large corporate organisations gaining valuable IT knowledge and experience, working with many different technologies and was fortunate to have been given some amazing guidance and leadership at this stage in my career. Ever since I has used this experience as the blueprint for the type of leader I want to be.

I joined NHS Digital just over 6 years ago as a Senior IT Service Manager initially working in Secondary Care supporting the IT systems, this is where I was first introduced to the world of data, working closely with our Data Services Directorate managing a diverse team across a number of different IT data services.

When the pandemic hit, the Data Operations Team were immediately thrust into a change of direction from focussing solely on the support of secondary usage data, to flowing data direct to services that are integral to Patient Care. The last 12 months have seen me promoted to the Service Lead position where I’ve taken a more strategic role in leading the Live Services Data Operations Team analysing the end-to-end delivery and support of the IT & Data services including data collections, dataflows, data processing, and dashboards and the impact future technology will have on these and how we prepare as an organisation.