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42 years in the NHS v2

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42 years in the NHS v2

  1. 1. 42 years in the NHS So,42 yearshave passedsince Ijoinedthe NHSwhichisveryhard to take in.I have workedwith some greatpeople overthistime. The change intechnologiesfrom1974 to now are immense. Ihave had the privilegeof workingforthree highlyratedandworldclassorganisationsoverthis40+ year periodwhichhasbeena privilege andanhonour. The opportunitiesandenablementof change usingITisenormousanditis probablythe most excitingtime toworkinIT and inthe NHS. Yes,there are challengesanddifficulties,buttechnologyif adoptedanddeployedinthe rightwayforthe right reasonandin a realistictimescale,issopowerful it can revolutionisehow organisations work. I seemtobe attendingretirementeventsonamonthlybasisrecentlywhich only crystallisesones ownage,but alsoindicatesthat a greatdeal of knowledge isleavingorganisations. Whileit isgood and necessarytohave ‘youngguns’coming the NHS,there isstill a needforexperienced‘oldhands’ whocan still playanessentialrole. Successionplanninghasneverbeenagreatstrengthwithinthe NHS,butitis now critical that thisis done to ensure that the nextgenerationof staff have the rightknowledge andskillstobuild onwhat has beenstarted. Iam alsoan advocate of introducingtechnology/informaticsapprenticeshipsin orderto provide thatsuccessionandcontinuity,providingareal careerpath. The continuingstatements thatwe need‘more leadership’or‘there isa lackof leadership’isa regularrhetoricbandedabout.Ido not believe thatwe needmore orthat there isa lack of leaders. In myexperience, itisthe case that staff are notgiven the opportunitytodemonstrate theirskillsor ideas and there are plentyof staff whoare just waitingtobe giventhe permission toexpress themselvesandtake ownership. While there have beenimprovementsmade,itisstill alittle disappointingtosee andhearof the continuedlackof collaborationwithinthe NHS ITteamsand itsassociatedhealthcare services. The same oldissuesare still beingdiscussed(Inter-operability –sharedrecords – systemintegration – standards) whichrestrictandtake out valuable resourcesgoingaroundthe same circle withoutany conclusions. Atatime whenthere isenormoustransformationtakingplace, aswell as reduced investmentandlimitedsuppliersandsolutionsavailable,itiscritical thatIT staff talk to eachother and share experiencesinordertomake sure thatdecisionsthatare made are basedon real experiencesfromorganisationsthatmayhave attemptedorhave deployedagiventechnology. However,the realityisthatdue tostaff feelingthreatenedabouttheirjobs,organisations(including IT staff) regularly seemtowanttoreinvent the wheel. So,to sum up.It has beena greatexperiencesofar,there isstill life inthisolddogandthe opportunitiesthatITcan be involvedinare endless.Ican’tsay” here’stothe next40 years” butit will be interestingtosee howITassiststhe transformationof the NHSoverthe nextdecade.

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