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EHI EHealth Insider Highlights

Tech part of 7-day NHS – Cameron
‘Health tourist’ info added to SCR
Digital Health interview: Philippe Houssiau

Welcome [*data('2.first_name')|html*] Issue No 684, 22 May 2015 twitter contact



Many column inches have been devoted this week to where Prime Minister David Cameron expects to find all the GPs that he will apparently need to deliver on his vision of a seven day NHS. But the answer, surely, is that he doesn’t expect to staff an expanded, traditional service; and that technology will be expected to do some of the heavy lifting.

Few political commentators bothered to notice where Cameron delivered his speech, beyond saying that it was at a GP practice in the Midlands. But Cameron went out of his way to note that the Vitality Partnership in Birmingham is one of the “great winners” of his access fund, which has already supported two waves of pilot schemes to both extend opening hours and put more services, including consultations, online.

With the Health and Social Care Information Centre able to issue figures this week showing that the government has, finally, hit at least some of its targets for giving patients online access to their records and other transactional services, the scene must be set for a big expansion of the NHS’ ‘digital front door’ – an idea of which NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is also a fan.

As Joe McDonald pointed out last week, advice and remote access services could benefit many patients as long as – and here’s the rub – they are well thought through and dovetail properly with physical services when those are needed. But they may be a bit of a shock to some elderly voters and papers, wedded to the Dr Findlay notion of GP practice.



Tech part of 7-day NHS - Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron used his first major speech since the election to push forward the Conservative Party’s plans for a seven-day NHS, indicating that this would include making use of technologies such as Skype.

Records access target hit

Nearly all GP practices in England are able to offer a variety of online services to patients, including access to a summary of their record, appointment booking, and ordering repeat prescriptions.

'Health tourist' info added to the Spine

Data about the surcharge status of immigrants using the NHS has been uploaded to the NHS data Spine, the Health and Social Care Information Centre has confirmed.

CSC splits off US operations

CSC, the global technology company that markets the electronic patient record Lorenzo, has announced it is splitting into two separate businesses.

Connecting Care ramps up

Bristol’s shared care record scheme has moved into phase two, with the aim of reaching 10,000 users over the next five to seven years.

London shares urgent care plans

Thousands of urgent care plans for the chronically ill and dying will be shared between health and social care providers across London using InterSystems’ HealthShare.

Partnership trust to link RiO to PKB

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust has chosen Servelec Healthcare’s RiO as its electronic patient record for community services, and announced that it will work with Patients Know Best on a fully integrated patient portal.

Quote of the week


“As I said to Simon earlier: ‘I’m funding it. He’s delivering it.”

Prime Minister David Cameron delivers some jokey ‘support’ to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens for the ‘Five Year Forward View’ project to close a £30 billion gap between funding and demand by 2020-21 (to which his party’s manifesto promised to contribute £8 billion).




Digital Health profile: Trisha Bain

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in the country to appoint a chief quality officer to its board. Lyn Whitfield talks to Trisha Bain, the former director of informatics taking on the new role.

Digital Health interview: Philippe Houssiau

CSC’s head of healthcare in the UK tells Jon Hoeksma the company has “stayed the course” on Lorenzo, but its future lies in supporting new service models.


Featured comment


“We [have] continue[d] since 1948 in the hope that above some level of NHS activity healthcare demand and costs [will] start to fall because we have prevented lots of morbidity and everyone is more healthy. Where is the evidence that this point can be reached?”

By: mrtablet
Story: Tech part of 7-day NHS - Cameron




Remote consultations using the latest technology. A big idea from David Cameron, keen to show that the NHS is safe in Tory hands? Or a wheeze from Simon Stevens, keen to find some way of delivering on the ‘Five Year Forward View’? Nope. In this case it’s a cache of letters, written by a Scottish doctor, that has just been put online by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

The 5,000 letters are all from Dr William Cullen, who lived between 1710 and 1790, and who rose to be King’s Physician in Scotland. They cover everything from advice to a Russian prince, who wanted to know how to get over an illness caused by eating “a surfeit of cucumbers”, to responses to routine queries from patients worried about their diet and their babies’ teething problems. Much of this will be familiar to today’s GPs; although NICE might have something to say about Cullen’s propensity to recommend mercury and leeches. There’s nothing like a historical archive to make you deeply grateful for antibiotics.


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