HC 1999: Does the Strategy 'Information for Health' Encourage Suppliers to Provide the Systems Needed by Clinicians?

Wednesday 14 March 1999



Roger Wallhouse (Health Systems Solutions Ltd. and formerly head of SMS' Europe and UK operations)

Dr Simon de Lusignan (GP & St. George's Hospital, London), Ewan Davis (Chair, Primary Care Group in CSSA and Chair, AHH Meditel Ltd)

Dr Anthony Madden (consultant anaesthetist, Southmead & Frenchay Acute and Community NHS Trust, Bristol). Murray Bywater (Silicon Bridge)

Facilitated by:

David Hancorn (Silicon Bridge)


The session was introduced by Neville Vincent (Chair of the London Medical Specialist Group (LMSG)) who welcomed the audience. Neville described the position of the LMSG within the Health Informatics Committee (HIC) of the BCS. He explained that membership of the LMSG is open to all, not just members of the BCS. He then went on to describe the theme for the group's programme in 1999 - "Making the Strategy Work." The notes from all of the meetings this year will be published in the group's newsletter & may form the basis of a short report at the end of the year which will provide some feedback & beneficial impact on the issues and impact of the strategy.

The speakers and the issues

The 5 speakers were invited on the basis of their extensive involvement in developing and using systems, and so having some interest in the topic under discussion. David Hancorn, as facilitator, introduced some of the issues about the strategy that had been identified in the January meeting of the LMSG.

The LMSG supports the intention of the strategy but feels that many issues have yet to be addressed, for example: Cost, no assessment of the real costs; procurement rules being too restrictive, though changes may be in hand on this; the question of centralised versus distributed systems development; lack of technical detail; lack of structural detail, eg. Electronic Health Record (EHR), National Electronic Library for Health (NELH), NHSdirect etc; mandatory standards, e.g. clinical terming; and the topic for this session - is there a supply of solutions?