Tories enlist BCS to review NHS IT

News 25 Aug, 2008

The Conservative party has commissioned the British Computer Society to review the NHS IT.

The Conservative party has commissioned an independent report on the future of the NHS’s IT structure.

The Tory MP has asked the British Computer Society (BCS) what the English health service IT should look like in five years’ time in a bid to help inform the Conservative party’s future NHS IT policy.

The review will be chaired by the past chair of the BCS health informatics forum, Dr Glyn Hayes, who confirmed that the report was “an open review. It’s not there to investigate or criticise.”

“We wanted to establish a vision for NHS IT for the future, looking at what we feel we ought to be doing,” said Hayes.

Hayes has invited groups such as the royal colleges, health organisations, IT vendors, NHS Connecting for Health, suppliers, individuals active in NHS IT and academics to assist with the evidence-based review.

Letters were sent out to all groups and organisations earlier this week asking for their input. According to Hayes he has already received responses.

The report will inform, not determine, Conservative party policy on IT in the NHS in the future, according to Hayes.

Although, Hayes is chairing the report the BCS insists that the review will be independent.

Asked as to whether the Labour party were perhaps missing a trick in not conducting their own survey into the future of NHS IT, Hayes said that the party’s remit was completely different to that of the Conservatives.

“Labour conducted a major review of Informatics in the NHS not too long ago. With this review we’re looking further ahead. The reality is if you’re actively doing something you keep developing it in an incremental way. But the Tories are looking at it in a different way. [Thet are] looking towards how this can inform their future NHS IT policy.”