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DHCNI Governance

Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland logo. Delivering are together. HSC logo and Department of Health logo.DHCNI Governance

The Northern Ireland code of good practice for corporate governance in central government departments defines the way in which Public Sector organisations and their Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB) are directed, controlled and led. It defines relationships and the distribution of rights and responsibilities among those who work with and in the organisation, determines the rules and procedures through which the organisation’s objectives are set, and provides the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance.

DHCNI has undertaken a governance review and has established a new Governance Framework which addresses Digital Governance. DHCNI has focussed on improving the overall management of digital services within Health and Social Care (HSC) to ensure the public get the most value from investment

This framework will enable HSC to manage digital risks effectively and ensure that the activities associated with digital services are aligned with DHCNI’s overall strategic objectives. This is different to IT/Digital management which focuses on the planning, organising, directing and controlling of IT resources.

DHCNI is committed to:

  • Ensuring that all decisions link to Departmental priorities and the Digital Strategy;
  • Actively engaging with our stakeholders and ensuring that digital delivers what they need;
  • Operating in an open and transparent manner and communicating all decisions promptly and working in accordance with agreed principles;
  • Supporting programme and project owners and holding them accountable for the delivery of benefits, and
  • Quickly identifying the impact of any failure to deliver benefits on the wider system to facilitate mitigation.

There are seven main Boards within the new DHCNI Governance Structure – each Board and a description of its role, is set out below:

Name of Board Role
DHCNI Board To ensure that the Digital Strategy aligns with key Departmental policies, ratifying investment decisions made at DHCNI Portfolio Board and providing a framework of governance, clarity and direction in relation to digital health and social care decision making. Membership is a sub-set of the Management Board for Rebuilding HSC Services.
DHCNI Portfolio Board To ensure the Digital Portfolio is designed to meet the strategy and outcomes set by the DHCNI Board and delivers against these.  To resolve investment conflicts, prioritising investments of <£500k and recommending priorities for investments of >£500k to DHCNI Board when demand exceeds supply.
Enterprise Architecture Board To determine and maintain the oversight for new or changed Enterprise Architecture artefacts including: principles, standards, architectures and guidelines.
Strategic Information Board To provide strategic direction and oversight to the HSC System regarding all aspects of information including Data Standards.
Digital Optimisation Board To monitor performance and support continuous improvement of services and systems in place.
Digital Capacity and Capability Board To promote the development of a sustainable, capable workforce in order to support the delivery of high-quality integrated and transformed services enabled by digital technology.
HSC Information Security Board To determine the strategic oversight of all aspects of Information Security across the HSC.

The DHCNI Board, Portfolio Board, Enterprise Architecture Board and the Strategic Information Board have all been established and work is ongoing to set up the remaining Boards in the near future.

If you have any questions about our Governance structure you can contact us at