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Huge Challenges for Health Informatics Post Election – HC2010 Organizer

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With just over a week to go before the start of the HC2010 - and just two weeks to the General Election – the head organizer of the largest and most rewarding event for health informatics and social care professionals, is urging HI professionals to join the discussions at the event around the future role health informatics could play in the NHS.

“In a few weeks’ time,” says Mike Sinclair, “we will find ourselves with a new government. Whoever is elected and forms the next administration will clearly face the huge economic and financial challenge that we are now all acutely aware of across the public sector.”

His words come as the event guide goes live on http://www.hcshowcase.org. This year, delegates have the ability to prioritize the day-by-day programme according to their interests. The website also contains video interviews with Matthew Swindells, head of the influential BCS Health, and Mike.

Mike continues: “Irrespective of who is in government within the next two weeks, the challenge to the NHS remains the same. We must improve productivity, we must balance our books financially and we must not compromise quality in doing so.

“That is our collective challenge and one which will be discussed at HC2010.”

The conference brings together a series of presentations on how the digital world can enhance healthcare provision and support patients directly. Keynote speakers include Professor Heinz Wolff, well-known scientist and inventor of Bioengineering, Denis Protti, internationally renowned expert on health informatics; Mark Duman, Chair of the Patient Information Forum, and Ronnette Lucraft, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Direct.

A stream on Innovative Technology will include presentations from: Professor Lionel Tarassenko, University of Oxford; Justin Whatling, Chief Clinical Officer, BT; Dave Coplin, National Technology Officer, Microsoft and, Francois Ragnet, Managing Principle for Technical Innovation, Xerox Global Services.

Those giving presentations will include four Trust Chairs, five Chief Executives, eight professors, four medical directors, and over 20 directors, clinical and regional leads from across the UK. A special session on ICT and society includes a presentation from three patients on their experiences and reflections.

International contributions are widespread, including updates on the French national strategy, and additional representation from Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada, and Australia.

Finally, there will be presentations from three recent think tank reports: 2020Health, 2020 Public Services Trust, and Demos. These will be joined in debate by Matthew Swindells and a Director from the King’s Fund, to discuss what the likely developments and priorities for NHS Informatics are likely to be after the general election.

Mike concludes: “This event has existed over the last twenty seven years to provide a forum where real advances in health informatics can be demonstrated, shared and realized. The format of the event and the venue together greatly facilitate strong networking opportunities. People can mix to meet colleagues, share experiences, and learn from each other.”

HC2010 takes place from 27 - 29 April at the ICC, Birmingham.