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Forward, Back or Blight?

Picture representing decision making.I have been occupied with work outside healthcare and it may be true what they say: distance enhances review. What I notice is how quiet the sector seems. Even the ever-alert E-Health-Insider is reduced to writing about the lifting of bans on mobile phone use. Nor am I the only one to comment on this. I have also come across a number of healthcare consultants taking similar time out. All mention frustration and lack of progress in the sector.

Has the leviathan that is NPfIT cast a giant restraining shadow over healthcare IT? A colleague recently described the situation as 'planning blight'. But it reminds me of a passage from Lord Macaulay's poem "Horatius at the Bridge" that my class read with Mr. Walker when I was about 11: "But those behind cried ‘Forward!’, and those before cried ‘Back!’".

I am preparing to go forward back to Harrogate for the HC 2007 Conference where I am chairing a debate. Last year in the plenary sessions speakers from NHS Connecting for Health hinted at reorganisations. This year speakers from NHS CFH's top team have withdrawn from the conference, generating considerable speculation. Nonetheless, Lord Hunt the minister in charge of NHS CFH's NPfIT will be speaking. Many will listen carefully to what he says.


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