Monday, September 10, 2007


Later this week the Health Select Committee's report into The Electronic Patient Record will be published. I can't say too much about the conclusions of the report but it was a fascinating inquiry and could have been a lot wider.

During the course of the inquiry the committee members were keen to see a hospital system being used "in real time" and we had decided to visit Winchester. I won't bore you with the details but we were actively discouraged from visiting Winchester and led to believe that they didn't really understand the system.

My curiosity was roused so, as Winchester is just down the road, I asked if I could go and talk to them about Connecting for Health and its implementation. They were very keen for me to see for myself so today I found myself at Winchester discussing NHS IT. Contrary to expectation I found that staff at Winchester had an excellent grasp of the system - its merits and demerits - and had put in place various contingency problems where they did not consider the NHS system to be roubust enough.

I was puzzled as to why the visit had effectively been blocked and then I learnt that the gentleman in charge of implementation at Winchester had, a few years ago, worked at Whitehall on NHS IT. I can't help thinking that maybe he knew too much......