Those who scan, do: Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)

First appeared in Health Service Journal, 10 June 2004

The use of digital imaging systems within the NHS has been on the verge of taking off for some years – but hasn’t. That is set to change this year when a combination of central initiatives dramatically unfreezes the potential for progress at a local level.

On 1 May, the National Programme for IT announced deals with GE Medical Systems to provide picture archiving and communications systems in three local service provider clusters, with Philips and Kodak with ComMedica winning one LSP contract apiece. The systems will be installed from this summer, with national coverage planned for completion in three years.
Continue reading “Those who scan, do: Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)”

Brand designs: the NHS logo

First published in Health Service Journal, 19 February 2004

Draw a rectangle 2.4 times as wide as it is high and fill it with a colour known as Pantone Blue 300. Then, using the Frutiger Bold Italic font, fill it with the three capital initial letters of Europe’s biggest employer. Voila: a logo found on signs, stationery, vehicles, identity cards and uniforms across the country – and reproduced 144 times in a recent copy of this magazine.
Continue reading “Brand designs: the NHS logo”

Partially sighted: how private healthcare works with the NHS

First published in Health Service Journal, 8 November 2001

The private sector is sometimes seen as a zombie, mortally wounded in the NHS’s founding – yet reanimated by the unholy forces of Tory and New Labour governments.

But according to a book published by the King’s Fund*, past political efforts to kill off the private sector have only fuelled its strength. Now, authors Justin Keen, Donald Light and Nicholas Mays say the government needs to put aside the ideological debate about healthcare funding and face up to the reality of private healthcare, by making it subject to the same standards that rule the NHS.
Continue reading “Partially sighted: how private healthcare works with the NHS”

Take aim at NHS targets

First published in Health Service Journal, 14 June 2001

Just as the Conservatives loved markets, Labour loves targets. So when chancellor Gordon Brown eventually loosened the Treasury’s purse strings, what came out had strings attached.

Through public service agreements, spending departments are tied to the Treasury, with contracts detailing what they have to deliver, how their success or failure will be measured and what sanctions will result. This use of performance targets has spread throughout the public sector.
Continue reading “Take aim at NHS targets”