November 19, 2018
By guest blogger JEF SMITH
Caroline Dinenage, minister for care, couldn’t make it to Care England’s Annual Conference – “not here, like the Green Paper,” quipped Chair Martin Green sourly –but technology being the day’s theme, she sent instead a rather vacuous film clip of herself. It was left to one of her civil servants, James Palmer of the NHS Digital Care Programme – using his password to get into her speech, he boasted – to make the ministerial announcement of a government grant of £784,000 to the Care Providers Alliance ‘to deliver a new sector-led service which will offer digital support for social care providers’.
The money – which, compared to the millions poured into aborted government computer systems, is not actually very much – will be used to help us ‘embrace the digital agenda’, ‘to move the digital standards conversation forward’, ‘to encourage uptake of existing digital resources’, and to spread ‘best practice for managing IT suppliers’; (there are still a lot of sharks out there, Mr Palmer warned.)
But as long as primary care and hospital based computer systems cannot share information as basic as medication records, and patient follow-up letters containing vital treatment information are routinely delayed by glitches in contractors’ systems, ‘enabling information to be shared safely and securely between the NHS, local government and social care providers’ looks like a distant dream. It’s also true, Mr Palmer admitted, that much-vaunted pilots have a way of running into the sand for lack of money to roll out successes.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.