The British Computer Society (BCS) has blasted the “lack of commitment from NHS management at all levels” over healthcare IT, which it says has “seriously impeded progress in implementing informatics support for patient care.”
The comments came in a press statement today (29 July 2008) in which the BCS welcomed the Department of Health’s proposal to put “credible, capable” information officers at PCT and SHA board levels, contained in the recent Health Informatics Review report.
The BCS says this would be “a major step forward in persuading NHS management buy in to health informatics. This is important following the lack of commitment from NHS management at all levels.”
Following consultation with members of its Health Informatics Forum, the BCS has applauded much of the content and proposals of the Health Informatics Review.
In particular, it is felt that getting informatics involvement at an early stage of policy development will help to keep progress moving forwards with less of the “feature creep”, which it says “has bedevilled implementation.”
Glyn Hayes of the BCS Health Informatics Forum said: “The new NHS drive towards IT professionalism is to be applauded. The further development of our profession within the NHS will improve planning, design, development, delivery and ongoing use of systems.
“It is essential that we move health informatics staff out of the doldrums into the mainstream and alongside other professions, which have an impact on patient care.”
The BCS believes the review to be well founded on consultations with a wide range of stakeholders. However, it noted the absence of consultation beyond local service providers and the Office of the Information Commissioner – regarding confidentiality of patient data – and Academic Group of 23.