To Opt-Out or Not

The debate about our personal medical records being uploaded to a central database continues to generate discussion.

This article from the Yorkshire Post adds some more background to the discussion, particularly from the privacy point of view.

medConfidential – Keep My Secrets, a privacy advocacy website has put together a number of documents that you can use to Opt-Out of the scheme.

There is not doubt that the original intention was a good idea, but lack of clarity about who has access to sensitive medical information, in particular Big Business, has raise a number of important questions that continue to feed the ongoing discussion.

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NHS Staff Car Park Charges

We are carrying out some research into the costs of parking for NHS Staff at the places where they work.

We have heard some amazing amounts for staff car parking charges, sometimes more than what Patients are paying to visit their relatives.

We have had a number of comments passed to us so far, but we would like to hear from ‘you’ with your stories. Any information that you send to us will be treated in the strictest confidence, sources for our surveys are not revealed.

You can contact us by email to surveys [AT] nhswatch.info or by filling in the contact form in this website.

We look forward to receiving your feedback and we’ll publish a table of information in February 2014

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10 Billion Pounds – the Price of NHS-IT Failure

Copyright - The GuardianAbandoned over two years ago the National Programme for IT in the NHS has become one of the biggest government IT project failures of all time and we learn today that the costs of that failure are still increasing.

Amazingly and according to reports from the BBC, The Independent and many other sources, the costs for the abandoned project are still being incurred.

According to the Public Accounts Committee‘s report (PDF version here) it is likely the project will have cost us, the British Taxpayer over £10 Billion!

What is equally amazing is that it looks quite likely that no one single person will be made accountable for this massive waste of money.

We will be studying the report in more detail and will make a further post with some additional comments in the near future.

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Hospital Food – It’s all about perception.

hospital foodThere has been a number of media stories about Hospital Food over the past few days.

It seems strange to me that any of the NHS trusts that rates themselves happy with their own Hospital Food would do so without involving the patients in their surveys. Surely the people that have to eat the food are better positioned to comment than the managers that run the hospitals!

Only in the UK could you have a ridiculous state of affairs where there is a legal minimum for quality for food served in Schools and Prisons, yet not have one for the food served in the nations hospitals. I would have thought that managers would have understood that nutrition received during a hospital stay is as important as the cleanliness & hygiene standards of the hospital.

However, I am sure that the current government will spend a few more years thinking about this before we see any action to implement a minimum standard for Hospital Food.

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3D Printing and Medicine – A perfect fit!

A great story appeared last week about a revolutionary way of creating casts for broken limbs which involves the use of one of the latest technologies to hit the open market, 3D printing.

New Zealand university graduate Jake Evill started to think that there was a better way to create a cast after his hand had been enclosed in a traditional cast following a fall. So he turned his attention to the latest technology of 3D printing for a solution.

3D Cast - Copyright - Wired.com

In this interview with Wired magazine he discusses the development stage of his idea and what the next steps might be for this revolutionary step in casts for broken bones.

Mashable also reported about the 3D-Cast and have this very interesting video about Jake Skill’s idea. Time and money will tell if this is the way forward and who knows, just as you can now have new teeth implants made while you wait at the dentist, the smelly and heavy plaster casts of old may soon be consigned to the history bin as you receive your new custom-fit 3D cast.

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Sir David Nicholson – Still making headlines!

With his retirement now on the horizon, Sir David Nicholson continues to make headlines. At NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool yesterday has said he wants there to be a major review of NHS strategy including further closure of services and hospitals.

Some links covering this story include:

One comment about his leaving received from Alan Woolliscroft…

How is Nicholson able to retire next year, when he clearly has not reached sixty, and I assume his job is not being made redundant? Does he operate under a different set of rules to the rest of the public sector?

It seems that Sir David Nicholson is determined to make his feelings known right up to the end. That is until he is recruited into another government funded position as a consultant!

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