NHS Higher Education forum

These are brief notes from an NHS in Higher Education forum that is organised by JISC. I have not attended before but the organisers are ok and know their tech. I also know a senior person who I believe is now at NHS Digital – was certainly at NHS Information, we had some joint links from the past and it’s a shame that we view things so differently politically as his tech knowledge is very comprehensive.

I’m just going to mostly post a few links, notes and a few opinions so the text is not necessarily what people said.

Health Research Data UK presentation was full of propaganda and marketing from Professor Andrew Morris of Health Research Data UK who is a brainy doctor by background and now his organisation is among many receiving government funding and other support – as long as the NHS continues to be torn apart by technology companies under the glowing smiles of anticipation of future profits from Simon Stevens. For example, one of the NEDs chairing is IBM Chief’s Technology Officer. However fwiw Health Research Data UK are based in Wellcome Trust. They have £27 million for 4 scientific priorities. Talk of Cerner and EPIC trying to open up their proprietary systems as well as Silicon Valley pushing into healthcare. Mentioned the Industrial Challenge fund.

Heather Cook, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust – also brainy, has worked in police intelligence and connectivity prior to returning to the NHS, now chairs North Yorkshire Directors of Informatics Forum. They have over 150 systems. MYHFT is at crossroads of motorways M1 and M62, has some of the lowest life expectancy, highest rates of diseases, highest rates of unemployed in the area. Working with multiple associations, shares technologies and systems with Leeds and also junior doctor rotations. They are under 80% of staffing levels and she is currently working on the IT logistics of the proposed wholly owned subsidiary companies. They have over 3000 computers which are older than five years old.

However they weren’t affected by Wannacry which she says was because their patches were all up to date. All their medical records are electronic but they don’t have an electronic patient record system. They can search unstructured data, they have a modern network with 95% wifi coverage.

They are using NHSroam and Govroam successfully. NHSroam being used primarily for healthcare and bioscience students to connect to their local stuff whilst in NHS facilities. Govroam is a further step allowing access across public sector facilities including blue lamp (fire, NHS, police), non emergency fire and police, councils etc. The business driver for Govroam linking has been the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs)




Their ePrescribing business case ready going to NHS digital.

Microsoft surface hub Martin Van Eker, Uni of Bristol

Project initated with an IT third party – Insight. Using onenote, classroom one note, 55 and 84 inch tv screen with Windows 10. SurfaceHub not currently available – 2.0 due in autumn. Very locked down. Some successful collaboration and teaching with clinical programmes – used video/web conference call to connect with a hospital.

He has an interesting review at his participation in the NHS in Higher Education forum over the last 13 years.

Alex from NHS Digital I missed the full name due to dealing with an external minor crisis at the time. NHS Digital director – Tom Denwood

NHS Digital data tools and services

Aiming to achieve paperless health and care 2020. Five year forward plan. Matthew Swindells of Cerner now pretending to be independent in the NHS calling it 5 pillars. NHS digital strategy – 5 components. Do they teach this at MBA and McKinsey school to market everything in 5s. I can see many similarities between Simon Stevens and Stalin.

NHS Digital now manage 30 billion of payments to NHS providers, NHS email, Spine

DSP aims to be a but not the national platform building for research. Complementary to local health data platforms (they have had to scale back down from the)

Life sciences direction – want to release data held on NHS spine and make available to customers. Data will move from national datasets monthly to more real time data. New processing platform.External version of environment available in July. Then everything live in December with national datasets. For processing – starting with diagnostic imaging. Also deidentification – firm called Privatar. All being built with live data in the cloud. Professor Andrew Morris sits on programme board.

Questions from attendees

  1. Access for researchers? will sign on – NHS Identity with 2 factor authentication. Being developed in parallel to DSP.
  2. Env looks very like Genomics England and 100000 genomes? No specific plans to converge. Also link with NHS England platform and NHS Improvement. Also HDRUK multi tenanted research environment. Local organisations also developing similar platforms with components.
  3. If got university credentials can access? No – in other areas of research trying to interfederate credentials, want to discuss.

Barriers to finding and using technology in learning – Dr Catherine Ebenezer

Research – qualitative, 3 types of different trusts in Yorkshire. Research governance approval was an issue in selection of trusts. 40 semi structured interviews with clinical and non clinical across Trusts incl IT. Collected documents including codes, standards, policies, reports, marketing materials. Used NVIVO for thematic analysis.


infrastructure, organisational cultures, elearning/training, informstin governance and security, communications policies.

Variations in availability of access when using remote access. Wifi coverage variable. IE browsers but staff could also use others. Cloud storage access variable. IT infrastructures – variable network bandwidth, variable pc specifications.

Variable mobile and tablet usage – elearning or lms supported by technology companies.

Clinical staff perceived as computer adverse even when not. Personal smartphones not considered acceptablein patient setting and for good reasons.

Heavy blocking of websites but not always reported to IT to unblock. IT didn’t have time to investigate unless reported.

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