Headlines: July 7th, 2004

A new body has been set up to ensure patients’ interests are taken into account in the development of IT systems for the National Health Service. The Care Record Development Board -CRDB – will bring together patients, public, social and healthcare professionals.It will be chaired by Harry Cayton, the Department of Health’s Director for Patients and the Public. Its objective will be to to ensure NHS IT helps deliver better care and supports the Government’s priority of putting the interests of patients first. The board will be able to give clinical and patient input to new developments through the National Programme for IT and will replace the National Programme’s Patient Advisory Board and National Clinical Advisory Board.

Two deputy chairs for the new body have also been named. They are Professor Sir Cyril Chantler, Chair of the King’s Fund and Talib Yaseem, Director of Nursing for North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. One further deputy, who will come from a social care background is till to be appointed. There will be a programme of open advertisements to find members of the board and the process will be overseen by the NHS Appointments Commission.

The board’s core work will be carried out by action teams that will define the processes within care and across care boundaries that will be enabled by the use of IT. They will be commissioned to carry out specific pieces of work and to make recommendations. A team might, for example, address and define the care processes involved in electronic prescribing. The composition of the teams will be based on the expertise required for the particular work involved and they will consult with stakeholders including NHS bodies, patient and user organisations and health and social care professionals.

The teams’ work will be based on the priorities of the National Programme ensuring recommendations are given at the appropriate time to inform the development of the care records system.