speaker photo

Rafiah Patel

Chief Digital Ethics and Privacy Officer - Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Rafiah began working for the NHS in 2005 as a Speech and Language Therapist supporting children with language and learning needs. Over the years she became increasingly aware of the flawed ‘one size fits all’ model that surrounds digital health. As a result, in 2019 following completion of the DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship, Rafiah began a 4-year NHS funded PhD fellowship exploring how service-user co-design could help create digital therapies that are ‘fit for purpose’. This project is in collaboration with St George’s NHS Trust, London, City, University of London and the Alan Turing Institute which is the UK’s national institute for data science and AI.
Alongside her PhD, Rafiah has worked at NHSX as a Programme Manager in the Innovation Team supporting the digital transformation of community services. Rafiah is also a steering group member of the Shuri Network, the first NHS and care network of BAME women in digital health and has recently been appointed as one of the Allied Health Professional Leads at the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.
Rafiah is now part of the digital family at Surrey and Borders NHS Trust and is in the privileged position of being able to use her knowledge and skills to lead on ethics and assurance as the Chief Digital Ethics and Privacy Officer. This is a novel role within the NHS and involves working with national and local partners across health and care to ensure that digital supports people who deliver and use the service in a manner that is inclusive, fair and equitable.