Panel Profile: MKUH NHS Foundation Trust CTO Craig York

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The IT Pro Panel

Welcome to the IT Pro Panel Profile, where we talk to the CIOs, experts and IT leaders that make up the IT Pro Panel, and discover their top tech, pet peeves and IT inspirations.

Public sector IT is a difficult field to work in, particularly when it comes to the occasionally beleaguered and often underfunded NHS. Resources are often stretched, while demands for modernisation and maintenance in a large NHS trust can be significant.

Nevertheless, it is this challenging environment in which Craig York has been operating for nearly two decades. Now the chief technology officer of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, he first started as a technical services manager, and has now worked his way up to leading the trust’s digital strategy.

Craig York

Chief Technology Officer - Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Describe your role in 20 words or fewer. 

I’m primarily responsible for digital strategy, planning, development and policy within Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

What was your first computer? 

I started with the classic ZX Spectrum. Not the +2 or +3 with integrated tape or disk drive, both of which I’d later get, but the original one that you connected your own tape machine to, played the tape and waited for the game to load. I remember sitting and typing commands into it, and being fascinated by being able to draw shapes with a few lines of code.

What do you like most about working in IT? 

I love getting the opportunity to improve the lives of our staff and patients by supporting them with technology. It’s very rewarding.

If you could magically get rid of one piece of technology forever, what would it be, and why? 

I’d like to get rid of TV. Kids spend too much of their time watching it, and in my experience they’re just as happy to spend that time reading when they’re encouraged to.

What future tech innovations are you most excited about? 

AI; I see massive potential benefits to patients and productivity gains for clinicians and  organisations. Imaging given an initial diagnosis in minutes or seconds. Errors can be as high as 5% and I believe that AI and machine learning can improve this.

Who’s your biggest inspiration in the world of tech? 

I grew up in the time of Bill Gates andSteve Jobs and if you know Apple, it’s really Steve Wozniak that created things, but the visionary that helped change the world and the devices we use was Jobs. It demonstrated the power of one visionary who believed in something so much.

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