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Digital Health Highlights

NHS 24 IT system £41m over budget
Harlow trust challenges EHR-related fine
Digital Health interview: Sir Jonathan Michael

Welcome [*data('2.first_name')|html*] Issue No 705, 16 October 2015 twitter contact



An interesting discussion is under way on the Digital Health News website about whether trusts that come up with good IT products should commercialise them or give them away; for example through an open source vehicle.

The debate has arisen because Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has developed a set of business intelligence tools – and, in particular, an application for managing A&E services that it credits with avoiding some of the problems experienced by other trusts last winter – and is working with NHS Shared Business Services to market them.

Open source experts immediately cried foul, arguing that software developed by public bodies, using taxpayers’ money, should be made available open source, to recycle the expertise and cash involved in developing it into the wider public sector.

Others argued there might be good reasons for a trust to hang onto its IP, but it still shouldn’t charge for products or licences; only for the cost of any services involved in helping others to make effective use of them.

Perhaps to play devil’s advocate, though, being able to commercialise a product provides an incentive to develop one and enables the originating organisation to secure further gain from a good idea (isn’t this why so many universities now look to incubate spin-off companies?)

Plus, it’s far from clear that getting something for nothing is more likely to make another organisation pick up a bit of good practice (indeed, the NHS is awash in ‘innovation’ websites and ‘best practice’ guidance that is barely looked at; while capital investment requires a business case). So, an interesting debate. Do join in.



NHS 24 IT system £41m over budget

A project to implement a new IT system at Scotland’s NHS 24 is now £41.6 million over budget and more than two years behind schedule, according to a report by the Auditor General for Scotland.

NHS e-Referral Service fails to report

The NHS e-Referral Service is not producing any reports for users nearly four months after go-live.

Patient data: not sharing a 'breach'

GPs could be investigated for failing to share patient data when there is a duty to do so, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Harlow trust challenges EHR-related fine

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is facing a fine of around £1.8 million for multiple breaches of the 52-week target for treating patients due to problems with its implementation of the Cosmic electronic patient record from Cambio.

NHS trust markets A&E dashboard

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust is working with NHS Shared Business Services to market a suite of data reporting tools developed by the trust’s business intelligence team.

Alder Hey hospital upgrades IT system

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with a new version of the Meditech electronic patient record.

Hospital app tracks patients

An iPhone app to track patients in hospital is being rolled out across University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospital EPRs: Manchester trusts decide

Two hospital trusts in the Manchester region will implement different electronic patient record systems.



Good news! Sitting down isn’t going to kill you. Probably. Standing up for long periods isn’t going to save your life. Most likely. Newspapers and magazines have been full of articles over the past couple of months about how sitting is the new smoking, or cancer, but a report that followed 5,000 civil servants over 16 years failed to find any significant association between sitting time and risk of death.

As the NHS Choices ‘behind the headlines’ feature notes, there were a few issues with the study, and sitting could still put you at risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity. So cancel that modish standing desk, but try and get your officially sanctioned 150 minutes of aerobic activity and two days of strength work in anyway…


EHI Live 2015 MPU



Digital Health interview: Sir Jonathan Michael

The long-time health IT advocate has retired from the NHS and joined 6PM as its chief medical officer. He reflects on his career in health care with Digital Health news editor Rebecca McBeth.

Tom’s digital disruptors: mobile video consultations

More and more private GP companies are setting up video consultation apps; and the NHS is being urged to move in the same direction. But what problem are they solving, asks Thomas Meek.


Featured comment


“Coming next for patients 'find my nurse', and for nurses 'find my doctor', and for managers 'find my @rse'.”

By: von Bismark
Story: Hospital app tracks patients


Quote of the week


“We would hold GPs to account if they were absolutely, categorically not sharing any data whatsoever when there should be times they are sharing.”

Dawn Monaghan, group manager for public services at the Information Commissioner’s Office.


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