How electronic records can transform community care

A growing number of areas are setting up shared systems, ensuring professionals have the right information at their fingertips

On the Connecting Care partnership covering Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset and the Manchester Care Record.
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Visit to the Spaceguard Centre in Powys for the Register

The Register has published my article on a visit to the Spaceguard Centre, near Knighton in Powys. This privately-run observatory is Britain’s only facility dedicated to monitoring Near Earth Objects (NEOs), large Earth-bound asteroids and comets that could do anything from blow out thousands of windows (as happened in Chelyabinsk in 2013) to taking us the way of the dinosaurs.

The good news, according to Spaceguard founder Jay Tate, is that unlike the dinosaurs we have a space programme, and are perfectly capable of spotting and moving any rogue NEOs before they hit. Best not to nuke them like Bruce Willis – turns out you can simply nudge them on to a different course.

We do need to get better at the spotting part than at present, which is where Tate and the Centre come in, through educating visitors and using the entrance fees, donations and gift shop receipts to fund more spotting.

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Election 2015: what do party pledges mean for NHS staff?

The NHS is centre stage in the parties’ manifestos; there are subtle yet significant differences between their commitments

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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NHS Wales interview, Cardiff’s Senedd and Devo-City on Kindle

On Wednesday, Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network published my interview with Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales. He discussed having a bit more money, pay restraint (which will continue despite the bit more money) and how to get people to understand and agree to reconfigurations of services.

He also said it is easier to make things happen in Wales:

We’re able to bring people in a room, and understand their own views on how they want to develop good services… People can talk about what they want to change in Wales, and we’re able to do something about that.

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Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections

Thursday 15 November 2012 sees the first police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales outside London. Turnout is likely to be low, and some have said they will not vote in protest at the lack of information, the quality of candidates or the politicisation of policing. These are excuses, not reasons. Continue reading “Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections”