For The Register: what the general election could mean for tech policy

Following my article earlier this week on the manifestos and implications for NHS professionals, I have looked at how they might combine to change tech policy, on issues including surveillance, business and IT, government IT, immigration and the EU (both of some interest to the tech industry), employment law and the whole ‘actually having a government’ issue.

My conclusion: Continue reading

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General election manifestos and NHS staff: going private?

Having read the general election manifestos so you don’t have to, I have written the following piece for Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network. There is an area of significant difference between the parties on the NHS, and – perhaps not a massive surprise – it’s the role of the private sector.

If you do want to read the general election manifestos, which I find is often the best way to get an overview of what each party wants to do, you can do so through the following links, to PDF copies in each case: Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, UK Independence Party, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and National Health Action Party.
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Election 2015 for Beacon: it’s looking like no overall control

After the score-draw Cameron-Miliband clash of last week, and the seven-way leaders’ debate last night, I have rounded up Election 2015 for Beacon readers with five weeks to go, concluding:

What all this means is Britain may well be about to elect no government, or at least not a stable one: as Jon Stewart used to brand US election campaigns, we’re heading for Indecision 2015. When in Britain no party gets a majority of seats on a local authority, the council concerned is said to belong to ‘no overall control’. On 8 May, we may have to hoist that sign over the whole country.

The full article is here.

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NHS 111 & decision-support software for ComputerWeekly.com

My latest piece for ComputerWeekly.com looks at the use and limits of decision-support software in healthcare. It certainly has a role; the question is how much it can do, and how much needs to be dealt with by medical professionals.

NHS Direct‘s replacement NHS 111 has, at least initially, made heavier use of software, but is now making greater use of medical professionals. But any software-driven service is likely to be overly cautious, according to my interviewees. “It wasn’t known as NHS Redirect by the ambulance service for nothing,” says Janette Turner of the University of Sheffield.

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Marconi on The Lizard: article on radio history for The Register

Following my article on Goonhilly Earth Station in December, The Register has published the other piece I researched while visiting Cornwall last autumn: on how Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian working in Britain, transmitted a signal from Newfoundland to Cornwall and changed the world.

The article is based on two sites on The Lizard peninsula, the southernmost part of Great Britain: the Lizard Wireless Hut, right on its southern edge, and the Marconi Centre and Wireless Field, just above Poldhu Cove on the peninsula’s western coast. Continue reading

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