Connecting for Health profiled on BBC Radio 4

The ambition and vision of the Connecting for Health programme in the UK continues to come in for a lot of public scrutiny. File on Four this evening (tuesday) looked at Choose & Book, Childhood Vaccination and Hospital system implementation. By and large, it was not pretty. Here are some of my notes from the programme.

Choose & Book

  • 400k bookings since launch.
  • concern from GP community on length of time needed to do booking – average at least 2 minutes (from a 10 minute patient consult).
  • Avon given as example of Primary Care trust advising boycott by GP’s.
  • Listened to a more positive GP giving demo of the system to reporter (6mins 50sec in). His reaction (and obvious frustration at this having happened yet again) to key details not being printed out for the patient makes one cringe.
  • It appears that of the 400k bookings, 2/3 of these are for appointments that patients must make by phone – only a minority of hospitals can currently take electronic bookings.


  • CHIA system for childhood vaccination programme in parts of London has been problematic since the beginning.
  • Potential that vaccination records for 24k children have been lost.

Hospital System

  • Only demographics can currently being accessed nationwide (not sure about this one?)
  • Given delay in rollout, example of hospital using interim iSoft solution at cost of 600k this year. Other hospitals will have similiar interim costs with their existing suppliers while waiting for iSoft soln.

[ update ] :  A good review of the programme is here.

NHS staff slow to take up blogging.

The number of blogs written by NHS staff members is very low, according to a piece by eHealth Insider. This state no doubt will not be helped by the recent sacking by a well known bookshop chain of one of their employees, apparently for his blogging activity.

hhmm, don’t know about anybody else but the thought of your GP blogging (even if it is anoymous) about patients presenting seems a little bit, i don’t know, scary (for patients) ?

However, if the context is other health professionals are the readers, then maybe this lessens the scariness..