British Computer Society president Alastair Macdonald told the conference that the IT industry should help form a body focusing on the professional needs of healthcare IT. He said, "I want to see more like-minded organisations pooling their resources."
Macdonald believes that such a body could provide invaluable specialist training for healthcare professionals working in IT. "Some people want to see a professional college model used," he said, "whereas others would welcome an organisation of any type that would deliver certification."
Earlier this year the Department of Health announced £850m of new funding for NHS IT, but questions remain over where the skills will come from to make the strategy successful.
The move was welcomed by NHS executives at a time when the service is struggling to meet the challenge of the IT skills shortage. Anthony Nowlan of the NHS Information Authority said, "In keeping with other industries, skills is one of the biggest corporate challenges we face."