NeLH Health Informatics (NeLH HI) discussion group

Birmingham 19.11.02

personal report by Rod Ward

Di MillenThis meeting was convened by Di Millen, Head of Informatics Development and Academic Relations at the NHSIA, to "consider further development of what is currently a pilot Health Informatics VBL within the NeLH". It was held at the NHSIA HQ Aqueous 2, Aston Cross, Birmingham.

I attended as the representative of the Nursing Professions Information Group (NPIG).

The meeting was led by Di Millen and Ann Brice who is working 50% with NeLH specialist libraries & 50% with the NHS modernisation agency. There were about a dozen delegates mostly from trust Information depts/libraries with a GP doing an MSc in Informatics & a orthotist from Glasgow representing CPIAG. Members of the NHSIA NeLH team also dropped in and out as they had another meeting at the same time!

Ann started with a review of the NeLH history and context explaining that it was still a pilot but that the outline business case had been accepted by the DoH in June 2002, and outlining the processes for the move to a full service. She highlighted principles and priorities and emphasised the importance of user involvement and their access and skills. The questions the NeLH team wanted help with from this meeting with included; who is the audience for NeLH Hi? who are the stakeholders in the process? what types of questions will people come with? what do we already have? and how should the process be taken forward?

Ian McKinnell then gave a short presentation exploring the current state of the VBLs and the vision for a clearer information landscape with greater sharing of resources including bodies such as the NHS Modernisation agency. He described the plans for the development of a resource management system including the server, Database and web interface (utilising "wrapper pages") to enhance the user experience and improve the navigation and searching (possibly both global NeLH & within a specialist library). He talked about the current procurement process for both the technology and content for the specialist libraries - which is set out at:

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The attendees were then asked to work in small groups to try to answer some of the questions set out above. Some thought the audience for NeLHHI was "information staff" in the NHS others that it was everyone in the NHS (clinical staff), and some included patients & public. Wider possible user groups including; Higher Education, social services, charity/private sector etc were also considered. The perennial question about whether National meant England or UK was also raised.

A wide range of bodies who could be considered stakeholders was also compiled the top 5 being;

The discussion groups then moved on to looking at the sorts of resources already available (NHSIA, IPU etc) & the sorts of things users would want.

The final part of the meeting was a request for further involvement in the development process once a member of IA staff is given responsibility for this development.

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last Updated: 3.9.03