Where is the money?
How do they hope to achieve this when they are squeezing I.T. budgets?
Patients will use the web to report their experiences, rate NHS organisations and access their records, according to health secretary's white paper. Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS says that a range of online tools will be created for patients, allowing them to access services "much more efficiently at a time and …
Like most government departments all they need to do is visit a website called sourceforge.net wherea whole raft of open source applications are stored that only need minor modification to get up and running. CMMS / shopping baskets / forums voting ranking systems - they are all there for nada.
At least with this approach we won't need $20B in projects run by the usual incompetent suspects.
All it takes it handing a bunch of these contracts to smaller more dynamic companies with an open source mentality and they would get product delivered faster and cheaper.
To me this seems a possible good step i.e. setting up standard ways to share data rather than a massive database that was created by the consultants so their employers could milk the system. I think it might be a good idea to wait and see what happens. Good point about HMG and IT though, I am not holding my breath - too dangerous.
@"We will make it simple for a patient to download their record and pass it, in a standard format, to any organisation of their choice"
Once this data spreads that's it, no way to stop it and no way to ever hide it again.
So how long before all insurance companies require access to all our medical records or you pay a premium. (Plus then they sell on that data to other companies claiming they obfuscate it yet we know full well it'll be traceable when merged it with ever more growing databases on every other part of our lives).
Plus how long before prospective employers require access to medical records (or you (unofficially) go to the end of the employable queue when they are choosing new employees). After all they can claim its for their company insurance and their human resources records etc..
That's just a few examples. There are so many other reasons that officious arrogant busy bodies can dream up to snoop into our medical records and lives and once its available (in downloadable form) they will slowly move to require this data. Plus the officious arrogant busy bodies will find ways to penalise anyone not conforming to their wishes.
So oh great, its the start of the spread of our medical records now. They have leaked just about every other bit of our data on us, so now we move towards systemic spread of our medical records. :(
No F'ing way.
In 97, just before the New Labour government came to power, my ex (a senior social worker) and I attended a labour focus group for the future of the NHS. Of course we all had the perception of what had been, over the last 18 years of Conservative government, and had difficulty seeing change. One wag noted that the problem was that Conservatives de-centralised where as Labour centralised, but whichever structure was formed the cost kept going up, efficiency went down, and patients were left unheard! The Labour bod (Lord Hunt I believe) stated that New Labour would go half way and create PCT’s, the patient involvement aspect being through patient forums – it went the way expected though. So, with a new ConDem government we are seeing de-centralisation to an extreme and the patient element being through internet reviews – I bet the cost will still go up and efficiency will still go down and patients will still be left unheard!
Based on two fallicies
1) That public feedback is useful
2) The idea that choosing a hospital is like deciding which hotel to stay in
For option 1) , see the memorial site for Psycho killer Roaul Moat, with 2K plus fans. Do you want people like this helping you decide which hospital to go to?
As for option 2), do you get to check an NHS app on your iPhone whiel you dial 999? "Yes, I'd like to go to Bolton Royal Infirmary" as you bleed all over the pavement in Plymouth?
Privatisation by the back door, Yet another IT screw over, job cuts, pay freezes and unspecified 'efficiency' savings (probably unattainable). I wonder what Cameron meant by 'The NHS will be safe in our hands'.
As the Senator says in Josey Wales after promising to treat the prisoners decently:
"They were decently treated. They were decently fed and then they were decently shot. "
I've read the White Paper in detail (very unpleasant). There's nothing in there that could be remotely construed as privatisation; in fact, they go to some length to talk about social enterprises.
There is talk of an "Information revolution", but it looks like it's just talk. There are no big-ticket projects here. As for accessing patient records, I could (if I had the right permissions on my smartcard) access maybe 25% or 30% of all surgery medical records anyway. Those are the records for surgeries which use SystemOne. The way things are going now, pretty much all records will be centrally accessible over the next 10 years or so, as surgeries are pushed towards SystemOne.
... sorry paid out to shareholders. I imagine that if they do do with this they will go with an existing large IT services provider who will screw them over until there's no cash left and the project is aborted.
Why can't they hand these projects out to SME's using well defined interfaces. No idea it that would be better but can't be worse than all the other failed IT projects.
For the last 2 decades the NHS has been blighted with this continual churn of 'reform'. Each new set of Whitehall flunkies feels the need to justify their existence by imposing another set of ridiculous measures on a long-suffering staff. All these do is suck up time and resources and force doctors and nurses to waste time on trivia. The upper echelons of both professions are sometimes almost as bad as they scurry to curry favour with the masters of the day.
Here's a reform for you - Just Leave It Alone And Let Them Do Their Jobs
And MinionZero's absolutely right - the privacy implications are obscene.
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