Tim Kelsey

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Tim Kelsey is a cheerleader for health tech and led the government's controversial Care.data scheme as tech director of NHS England.

He is current chief executive of the new Australian Digital Health Agency which is responsible for all national digital health services and systems. His appointment was announced in August 2016.

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Prior to his current government position in Australia, Kelsey was briefly director of Telstra health (Jan-July 2016).

He was, before that, the national director for patients and information at NHS England from July 2012.[1]

And from 2010 to 2012 Kelsey was a senior expert at management consultancy McKinsey & Company. At McKinsey he was information and public services lead, focusing on helping 'public and private sector organisations develop consumer information strategies'. In May 2011 he was seconded to the Cabinet Office as executive director of transparency and open data on an assignment supporting development of national strategy.

In 2000 he was the founder, CEO and executive chairman of Dr Foster, a firm which analyses and publishes patients outcomes in the NHS. In 2007 he launched NHS Choices, the national online health information service which now reports around 20 million unique users a month.[2]

After graduating from university in 1988, Kelsey began working as a reporter at the Independent and the Independent on Sunday and then in 1995 at the Sunday Times.

Health tech cheerleader

While director of NHS England, Kelsey was in charge of its highly-controversial care.data program, a data sharing operation that was criticised as 'privacy-invasive'. As reported by The Register, Kelsey he went on the record in 2014 saying that “"no one who uses a public service should be allowed to opt out of sharing their records. Nor can people rely on their record being anonymised.”[3]

Health tech meetings

Kelsey also courted, and was courted by health tech companies. Below is a list of some of the companies he met while at NHS England (2013-15):


  • TLG Communications: TLG was a lobbying firm taken over by consultants FTI. TLG's lobbying clients included Prudential, Serco and BT. It's not known who FTI lobbies for.
  • 23andMe, privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California.
  • WPP: Global giant in PR, advertising and other communications
  • Private Healthcare Information Network, which 'exists to collect and publish data on UK private healthcare providers for consumers, chaired by Andrew Vallance-Owen, the former chief medical officer of Bupa.[4] PHIN's former director of operations was Sam Meikle, former ‘change management, technology & innovation expert’ at The Social Kinetic (see below). She was also appointed to the CQC's Intelligence Expert Advisory Group in 2013.
  • Which?
  • GNS Healthcare, Privately held US-based data analytics company. It analyses data for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare provider, health insurance etc industries.
  • The Social Kinetic, Communications firm hired by NHS England to ‘help the NHS behave more like Google’. Claire Cater, founder of The Social Kinetic explains: "When Google innovates it both uses people from within and looks around the world. It allows its people to spend the time to invest and develop that innovation, with a focus on it having a tangible benefit to society."[5] The Social Kinetic's then ‘analyst and superbrain’, Alex Kafetz was also 'strategy & insight' chief at Kelsey’s wife’s firm ZPB. The Social Kinetic's Greg Moulds was also ‘involved in the delivery of global health strategy for KPMG, led by Mark Britnell, having previously supported Britnell's thought-leadership communications.[6]
  • Salesforce, American cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, California.
  • Google
  • Jointly Health (now called Sentrian, California-based remote monitoring analytics company (launched at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine Conference); meeting with Jack Kreindler.
  • Telstra, Australian telecoms giant, which went on to hire Kelsey. According to documents released under FOI law, Kelsey and Telstra were introduced by Mark Britnell at KPMG.




See: The Corporate Capture of the NHS


  1. Tim Kelsey, Linkedin profile, accessed June 2017
  2. NHS England Who's who, accessed 10 April 2015.
  3. Australia hires former head of controversial UK care.data plan, The Register, 3 Aug 2016
  4. New performance data on private healthcare providers published, Digital Health, 3 May 2017
  5. http://www.prweek.com/article/1220340/nhs-appoints-social-kinetic-innovation-drive NHS appoints The Social Kinetic for innovation drive], PR week, 11 Nov 2013
  6. Greg Moulds, The Social Kinetic website, accessed June 2017
  7. Sian Jarvis biog, iwill website, accessed June 2017