back to article Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

Given the track record of project failures in NHS IT, some might say that Matt Hancock - former Minister for Fun who now runs the Department of Health - is marching with ill-founded confidence towards what he describes as a “tech revolution”. NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock It is 2018 and the NHS is still …


  1. MMR

    Bound to fail.

    Combining government "vision" with NHS dinosaur project management, lack of skill and knowledge you will get, well, in best case scenario nothing. In worst case, complete chaos which will hit the whole country.

    The private "consultants", with average rates of £300/day will gladly pick those projects up.

    I've worked in the NHS long enough to know how this works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bound to fail.

      I'm not going into any public sector project at £300/day, if I'm going to wade through that much shit then it needs to be upwards of £1000/day with a 6 month minimum contract

  2. Chronos

    The NHS is under funded!

    So let's spend more money on worthless white elephants.

    And they wonder why there's voter apathy?

  3. phuzz Silver badge


    I don't see anything in the article about money actually going to the actual hospitals so they can buy the systems they need to adhere to these new standards. Which does beg the question, what's the point in new "digital standards" when no part of the NHS can afford to implement them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funding

      Like schools, defence, police or any other organisation, they can always find money for stuff they decide is really important.

      The problem is what they see as important is so often not what everyone else thinks would be important.

  4. GruntyMcPugh

    Patient records for “health and care setting” will use UK residents' NHS numbers

    Righty - O.

    Ah, I don't know my ten digit NHS number though, I was originally issued the NHS card wit the old five alpha three number schema, and I remember that. So I just checked on the NHS web site about how to find it, and they say go ask your GP. Except I moved and never got around to registering with a new GP, and that was twenty years ago. Now, you'd have thought, that as I have a Govt Gateway ID and I can log in and check my (crap state) pension forecast online, I'd be able to retrieve my NHS number,.... but apparently this cannot be done. So, the NHS don't know where I live, how are they going to send me my login details? Seems they have a lot of work to do verifying IDs, and linking into existing Govt ID schemes first.

    1. Sam Haine

      Re: Patient records for “health and care setting” will use UK residents' NHS numbers

      It would make more sense to deprecate the use of NHS numbers as unique patient identifiers and replace them with National Insurance numbers as unique patient identifiers.

      There may be a very small number of permanent migrants to the UK who do not have NI numbers (such as dependents of another person who do not pay tax or claim benefits) and it may be that new immigrants to the UK should be advised to apply for an NI number as soon as possible.

      Children would be treated in the same manner as adults. Children have NI numbers which are created when their birth is registered but at present the Department of Work and Pensions does not routinely issue them until 15 years and 9 months of age. However there is no reason why their NI numbers cannot be issued earlier if there is a use for them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    SNOMED CT (S ystematized N omenclature o f Med icine -- Clinical Terms) - SNOMED CT not SNOM CT btw.

    How on earth are they going to do that when most systems still use version 2 (v2) and version 3 (CTV3 or v3) of the Read codes. SNOMED NHS TRUD codes are still, sometimes in the wrong taxonomy structure and I still hear people grumbling about it's clinical safety.

    As for open APIs - good luck with that!

    They (NHS) need to go back to the whole issue around data ownership, sharing and governance. Does the GP hold the record, or the patient? Could I walk into any GP surgery in the UK and allow them to access my GP record (not the Summary Care Record)? If the systems are fully open, how do you handle changes from outside the system to update a patients record? Again - back to the data ownership.

    1. ibmalone

      Re: SNOM CT

      I got the impression at a conference a while back that Spine is (or was) regarded as the place where a person's interaction with the NHS gets recorded, there's some desire to integrate that with mental and social care I think.

  6. Enric Martinez

    Before anybody else says it:

    It's all the fault of Junkers, Brussels and the EU Secret Army !! (And Merkel, don't forget her)

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      @Enric Martinez

      That's very STASI Like, AMIGO. A Tried and Well Tested System of Remote Virtual Control with Exalted Command Ideally.

      A Trip Worthy of Further Exploring and Deeper Exploitation ..... and whenever to/for Raw Core Ore Source, do New Worlds Begin and Share Madness ... and ITs Big Protective Brother, Genius Renegade Rogue.

      And that's very Star Chamberish :-) ..... and Ideally in Live Operational Virtual Environment Fields with AI, Be They Right Royal IT Assets Too,

      amfM hailing Windsor Castle re AI PACT ...... Advanced IntelAIgent Permanently ACTivated Cyber Treats Easily Foolishly Imagined for Realisation of a Phantom Threat. Such Subversion and Corrupt Perversion is Seditious ....... and Almighty Punishable.

      Such Journeys Go Nowhere Good and All Always End Badly. Why Follow such Foolish Ways, and give Safe Haven Deep Harbour Berth to Such Spooky Shenanigans in Districts of Areas and Spaces Known to a Core Few Knowing You?

      Change the Thought Journey, Build New Worlds ...... and SomeThing for Right Royal Perusal in Support of Saudi Vision 2030.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not this again

    I suppose I should be bothered by this but I'm bailing from NHS IT later this year. Best Xmas present ever.

    Full marks for mostly very on-point snark. Other commentards have already picked up on a few errors. But this:

    NHoS Linus project that was effectively shelved in January when the team behind it said they’d received no support from the DoH

    That would be the three-guys-in-their-spare-time, 2018-will-be-the-year-of-Linux-on-the-NHS-desktop project that no one in DH(SC) or NHS actually asked for? There are plenty of dumb technology decisions made every day in the NHS, but not deploying this wasn't one of them. Rather it shows an awareness of requirements and constraints that transcends policy soundbites and hype cycles.

    (Soon-to-be-ex-NHS Linux user, and fairly close to some of the things mentioned in this article)

  8. Oor Nonny-Muss

    Except for viewers in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland....

    Thankfully the minister you talk about only has purview over NHS England because health is very much a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is even before we get onto pharmacy IT which is meant to also be able to access your NHS data so that they can ensure that you are not being prescribed something that will react to whatever you are all ready taking.....

    1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      NHS Pharmacy It

      I think you mean the 'accounting and cost allocation (to consultant teams) system' which has an ordering and stock system bolted on. Latterly a labelling (for your tablets/ medicines) has been added.

      Laat week a prescribing and administration module was taped on.

      OK timescales are sarky but after 30+ years in NHS Secondary care Pharmacy (remember Aposyst anyone) I think I know something on this subject...


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like