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Improving patient care is key to new DoH body

Lindsay Clark

The Department of Health has set up a new body to ensure clinical and patient involvement in the £2.3bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

The Care Record Development Board (CRDB) will be chaired by Harry Cayton, the Department of Health’s director for Patients and the Public, with deputy chairs including representatives from health think tank the King’s Fund, a nursing director, an a professional from social care.

The department has made no commitment to appointing members of the British Medical Association or the powerful royal medical colleges to the board. Lack of clinic involvement is considered one of the greatest threats to the NPfIT, which aims to support 50 million electronic health records across the UK.

The board will replace the National Clinical Advisory Board which included BMA and Royal colleges and the Patient Advisory Board.

Abolition of NCAB and PAB comes just nine months after the two bodies were created. Professor Peter Hutton resigned as chair of NCAB, following the March appointment of deputy chief medical officer professor Aidan Halligan’s as joint director general of NPfIT with responsibility for clinician involvement.

Health minister John Hutton said, "The new board has a vital role to play in improving care for patients. It will ensure the NHS develops patient-centred care processes that are supported by the IT being delivered by the National Programme. The work of the board will enable wider consultation and input into the way the NHS Care Records Service is being developed."

Harry Cayton, chair of the CRDB, said, "The board will comprise a small central team with a broad mix of patients and service users, health and social care professionals with experience of service delivery and a range of expertise. We will set the new paradigm for care, working with the National Programme to ensure the NHS can maximise the benefits that the new IT has to offer to support improvements in care."


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