Friday, August 22, 2008

"Independent" report into NHS IT

Yesterday it was announced that The Conservatives have commissioned a review of NHS IT to be led by Dr Glyn Hayes of the BCS.

The review intends to focus on practical ways to to get the maximum patient benefit from IT and informatics in health and social care over the next five to ten years.

Written evidence is invited from any individual or organisation with an interest in the area by the end of September. Oral hearings will then be held in October and November, with a first draft expected in December and the final report is to be published by the end of March 2009.

The Review Group's remit, which is set out in full in a letter published on E-health Insider is to:

1. Establish how clinical, public, and management needs can most effectively be met by information technology
2. In the light of the developments and progress of the last few years, establish a vision for IT in the NHS, health and social care
3. Set out a strategy for achieving that vision including a workforce strategy
4. Advise on action for the current Government to take
5. Advise on the policy options to be considered for implementation by an incoming Conservative Government.

I have some concerns about the independence of the review, because of the political sponsors, however I respect Glyn's integrity enough to believe that he will do a good job and produce a balanced report. I can't see him as the tories Ara Darzi but do believe the review has something to offer and I will be contributing to it as soon as I get some time.

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