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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Second Annual CRDB Stakeholder conference - a personal report

The following post provides some purely personal, selective and idiosyncratic reflections on the Second Annual CRDB Stakeholder conference, held at the Business Design Centre, London, on 24 November, 2005 ( It does not reflect the views of any group or organisation with which I may be associated. So, after that introduction, it probably does not take a genius to work out that I will not have too many positive things to say about the event.

I did come away with one or two useful bits of information, but on the whole, I felt that the event was not the most useful way of spending the day. The event was summed up for me by the comment from one member of the audience who, in pointing out that the chest X-ray on the back of the glossy conference folder was the wrong way round, suggested that 'if they can't even get that right....' (fill in the rest yourself). It was also extremely disappointing that neither of the nursing Clinical Leads, not the nurse on the CRDB Board, were at the event (although to give Barbara Stuttle due credit, she did provide a short AV presentation), and so we were not able to find out anything about what is happening as far as engagement with the largest part of the NHS workforce.

The freebie 64MB USB drive that came with the conference folder will come in useful - although, even though I am a gadget junkie, I cannot really see why every attendee needed one of these when all it contained was a couple of PDF files of documents we already had in paper form. Despite the attempts to show 'how much progress we've made in the past year', I felt the event was one of 'marking time' and only held because it had been promised. I did not come away with much new information, and the breakout sessions seemed to be exploring the same questions we have been exploring since the first versions of the ICRS came out for discussion. As I heard other people also say, why are we still exploring the same questions (even if they are important) and what does this say for overall progress? On an admittedly small sample, other people I spoke with were also rather disappointed by the event. So, if you have different views, please add them in a comment below.

Oh, and the one thing that I did find interesting and positive (and had confirmed by two people that I had heard correctly) was that patients will (eventually, once everything is in place) be able to use NHS Healthspace to view the audit trail of who has accessed and done what with their clinical record. That will be a very useful deterrent to dealing with much of the unauthorised access to records that we know goes on at present, and that could otherwise occur in the future.

Peter Murray

The following file provides a longer report >>> crdbnov05pm.rtf

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