Intended for healthcare professionals


Choose and book—whose choice is it anyway?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 05 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1093
  1. Nigel de Kare-Silver (, general practitioner
  1. Neasden, London

    Last summer I took part in many of the workshops held across London for the NHS's national programme for information technology. Organised with little notice and undergoing continual cancellation, rescheduling, and relocation, many of the sessions somehow resulted in vibrant discussions with clear conclusions. The people who went were keen, if not passionate, to do what they could to make sure the outcome would be the best possible. We were unanimous in wanting to make sure that the NHS offered programs that used the best possible features of existing software and clinical practice and that offered clinicians and patients a signed pathway to the best possible care. We were clearly told by the session leaders from British Telecom and IDX, the companies involved, that their contract was to design and supply clinical software to be used universally across the NHS.

    What did we get when we were presented with the draft version? We were shown screens of a third rate computer program …

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