Southern Institute for
Health Informatics

2009 Conference

Patient engagement through innovation


Friday 18th September 2009

SIHI 2009

Friday 18th September 2009
University of Portsmouth

SIHI 2009 home page
Call for participation
Conference committee
Venue and directions

More info:
Tel: 023 9284 6445


Speakers will include:




Bob Gann, Head of Strategy and Engagement for NHS Choices, Department of Health

Bob Gann

Bob Gann is Head of Strategy and Engagement for NHS Choices at the Department of Health. He joined the Department from NHS Direct where he was Director of New Media, responsible for the NHS Direct website and digital tv services. In his career Bob has worked in health care libraries, in NHS public affairs, and as chief executive of a not-for-profit agency providing health information services. He has also been a writer and editor for the British Medical Association, and had a regular column in British Medical Journal “What your patients are reading”. Bob has served on a number of working parties and task forces, and was one of the 25 NHS leaders who signed the NHS Plan. He is Visiting Professor in health informatics at Plymouth University.

NHS Choices - engaging the patient

In the twenty-first century patients, carers and citizens are seeking a new relationship with health care. They are not content with “one size fits all” services and want services where they have a choice, where they can make their views known, and where care is personal to them. These are common, everyday expectations in the consumer world but now the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is embracing the digital age to bring increased choice and voice to public health care.

Two years ago, the UK government launched NHS Choices ( as the digital front door to health and social care provision. NHS Choices has firmly embraced collaborative Web 2.0 technologies. Far from a dry government website, NHS Choices contains rich, multi-media content including video and interactive tools. In order to extend reach of the service, content is freely syndicated to hundreds of other websites (including an NHS Choices channel on YouTube).

Since the beginning of the service in 2007, patients have been able to share their views of hospital services by posting reviews on NHS Choices. This gives a voice to service users, enables other patients making a choice between hospitals to take into account the views of others, and enables providers and commissioners of health services to have valuable consumer feedback which can improve quality of service provision. From September 2009, the opportunity for patients to post views will be extended to general practitioners (family doctors).

Patient views are presented alongside an increasing range of comparative quality data covering both NHS and private health care providers. Data includes clinical indicators (including hospital infection rates, mortality rates, readmission, number of times procedure carried out etc) plus practical service information such as car parking, disabled access etc. Just as they would when comparing consumer products, patients can now sort and compare hospitals TripAdvisor style and make an informed choice between the service options available to them..

Dr Manpreet Pujara, National Clinical Lead for GPs, NHS Connecting for Health

Manpreet Pujara

to follow

How the NHS is moving forward with electronic patient records (tbc)

abstract to follow

Henry Pares, Head of Health Informatics Strategy & Planning, South Central SHA

Henry Pares

Henry is responsible for designing and leading NHS South Central’s Health Informatics Transformation Strategy and its change and innovation activities, to ensure information technology enables changes in clinical business processes that transform patients’ experience of quality and system productivity. 

He joined the NHS in 2003 from a career in organisational consulting, strategy development and general management in international services

Transformation in citizens' health service experience

As the social and economic environment changes fundamentally due to rising public expectations of service and increasingly severe resource constraints:

  • citizens will be encouraged and empowered to become much more closely engaged in ownership for their own health and care
  • provider-oriented improvements in information technology still have a long way to go but are no longer enough
  • direct focus on on-line enablement of citizens is needed, to transform experience of service quality and its cost

This session will share the NHS South Central’s emerging approach to addressing this context, and seek participants’ input.

Sarah Hamilton-Fairley, Co-founder and Chief Executive of StartHere

Sarah Hamilton-Fairley

Sarah joined J Walter Thompson as an English graduate from Oxford University and then honed her communication skills at BBC Radio 4. As co-founder of Whitewater, the successful design and communications agency specialising in the not-for-profit sector, Sarah recognised the need for an information system that connects people to an appropriate statutory or voluntary service at the right time. This, combined with a personal experience led Sarah and her partner to develop StartHere. Sarah is also a Trustee of the Multiple Births Foundation, a Governor of St Paul’s Girls’ School and President of the Marlburian Club.

How IT can help patients access services: lessons from a true case history

StartHere is an easy-to-use, digital signposting service that provides a starting point for anyone looking for information on health, housing, education, employment, welfare and social issues. It's designed to meet the needs of the citizen by providing a joined up map of local and national services. Available on a range of digital platforms – including mobile phones, PCs, kiosks and digital TV – StartHere is a new, accessible guide to public and voluntary sector services and organisations.

StartHere’s contribution to the digital inclusion agenda is increasingly being acknowledged by government, business and the third sector. In March 2008, NHS Choices commissioned StartHere to run a pilot project to explore innovative ways of using IT to reach those who are currently most excluded from on-line services. The key findings from this project and the way ahead for StartHere will be highlighted during this session.

Flis Henwood, University of Brighton

Flis Henwood

Flis Henwood is Professor of Social Informatics in the School of Computing, Mathematical and Information Sciences at the University of Brighton, where she heads up the Social Informatics Research Unit. Her most recent work focuses on the implementation and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in health care. She has published widely on e-health issues in both academic journals and peer-reviewed professional/ practitioner journals. She co-edited (with Ellen Balka) an ‘e-Health’ special issue of the journal Information, Communication and Society in 2005.  Her publications have appeared in a range of disciplinary fields including sociology of medicine, social policy, information systems and media studies.  She is on the editorial board of the journals Health Informatics and Information, Communication and Society.

Supporting the Self Management of Obesity: The Role of Information and Communication Technologies

The presentation will report on the findings of the Net.weight’ project, which was completed in July 2009. The project examined the potential for increased, innovative and effective uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in supporting the self management of obesity. The project was based in the city of Brighton & Hove, where ‘Healthy City’ initiatives were already underway to engage communities in a range of healthy living programmes. The project worked with, and built on, such programmes through an explicit focus on the relationship between information and self care. A provider mapping exercise identified local information provision, and a user survey examined awareness of, and use of, these and other information sources and levels of engagement in self care. A series of participatory learning workshops was designed on the basis of an ‘assets and needs analysis’, derived from survey results and a series of 4 focus groups held in the local community. These workshops used supported peer learning to develop critical engagement with health information and ICTs in the context of obesity management. The workshops were evaluated (via interviews with participants 6 months later) on their success in increasing participants’ ability to make effective use of health information and ICTs and to reach their self-defined health goals. Key highlights from the project findings will be presented and framed in terms of the government’s e-Health and self care agendas.

Dick Whiddett, Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, Massey University, NZ


Dick is has been lecturing in Information Systems at Massey University for the past 16 years with a special interest in Health Informatics.  His research has focussed on the factors which influence technology adoption and the uptake of decision support and knowledge management systems in primary care.  He is part of an interdisciplinary team which recently gained funding from the New Zealand Health Research Council for a national survey of people’s attitudes towards sharing their personal health information.

Patients’ attitudes towards access to their Electronic Health Records

Our project investigated public attitudes towards sharing confidential personal health information held in Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The project used computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to conduct a quantitative national survey of the attitudes of New Zealanders towards access to their personal health information using vignettes. Respondents were presented with vignettes which describe ways in which their health information might be used. After each vignette they were asked about their attitude to, and whether they would give consent for, such access. The study explored the impact the destination, proposed use, level of identifiably and level of detail had on people's’ willingness to share their information.

The findings show that respondents were most willing to share their information with health professionals for the purpose of providing care, however, removing their name and address so that information was anonymous or identified by record number only greatly increased the acceptability of sharing information for other purposes.  Other findings will also be presented.

Richard Pope, Director of Innovation and Research, Airedale NHS Trust West Yorkshire

Richard Pope

Richard Pope is a consultant physician who was until recently Medical Director at an Acute Trust in West Yorkshire. He has an interest in using technology to facilitate novel approaches to the delivery of clinical care. Having spent over ten years working on the development and clinical use of electronic shared clinical records, four years ago he began using video conferencing techniques to carry out telemedicine consultations. He now leads a programme of work deploying telemedicine in a variety of clinical settings; in today's talk he will focus on work being carried out within prisons across England.

Prison Healthcare - the role for telemedicine

Delivery of specialist clinical care to prisoners is challenging; from the perspectives of access to services, cost and security they are indeed a "hard to reach" population. Airedale NHS Trust currently provides a wide range of medical and other clinical services to eight English prisons. Using a telemedicine system based around standard videoconferencing equipment we have demonstrated that it is possible to safely and effectively triage or manage the majority of urgent and planned new cases referred to the service. In this presentation, the service will be described and its outcomes reviewed. Opportunities for the use of similar apporaches in non-custodial settings will also be highlighted.

Katrina Brockbank, Advisory Group Member, Patient Information Forum

Katrina Brockbank

Katrina Brockbank is a nurse currently working as a Clinical Governance Facilitator at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.  She was a founder member of the Trust’s Public and Patient Involvement Group, where, as Co-Chair of The Wiltshire Research Ethics Committee (recently retired) she reviews applications from within the Trust, signposting applicants to Research Ethics or Clinical Audit where applicable.  The Trust has a long history of patient involvement and Katrina has carried out a number of traditional approaches to patient engagement and has recently started using innovative ways to involve patients.  She currently sits on the Advisory Group for the Patient Information Forum which is an independent forum for the sharing of good practice amongst those involved in the production and dissemination of high-quality consumer health information.  The Trust is a testing member of the DH’s pilot scheme known as the Information Standard; involving patients in the process is integral to achieving certification.

Using innovative ways to involve patients (aka ‘Toys’ to keep clinicians involved in the process)

Consumer Health Information (also known as Patient Information) has been recognised as pivotal to a positive healthcare experience.  Its importance has been raised further with the NHS Constitution giving patients the ‘right’ to being involved in decisions around their care and being given information to support this.  The Constitution goes on to give patients the right to be involved in the planning of healthcare services.

In this presentation we will look at the different ways that patients and the general public are involved in one district general hospital including:

  • The Information Standard - Consumer Health Information
  • VTE (venous thromboembolism) – a national initiative with local innovation
  • Frequent Feedback – getting real-time results.


Tim Benson, Founder, Routine Health Outcomes Ltd

Tim Benson

Tim Benson is founder of Routine Health Outcomes Ltd. He first worked on health outcomes with Rachel Rosser during the 1970s. He then went on to set up Abies, one of the first GP computer suppliers, where he instigated the development of the Read Codes. He is a Senior Honorary Research fellow at UCL CHIME and author of "Principles of Health Interoperability HL7 and SNOMED", to be published by Springer in November 2009.

Routine measurement of patient outcome (PROMs) and experience

The Government is committed to measuring Quality in terms of the patient's perception of their safety, experience and the effectiveness of care.  I will explain the background of two new tools: howRU™, a generic patient reported outcome measure (PROM) and howRWe, a generic patient experience measure.  These instruments are quick and easy to use, understand and interpret, delivering value at all levels.  They can be used on touch-screens PDAs and kiosks, or with web browsers, paper forms or automated telephone systems (interactive voice response).  These instruments are dramatically simpler than the previous generation of such tools.

Guy Giles, Operations Manager, Looking Local

Guy Giles

Guy Giles is the Operations Manager for Looking Local, a portal on digital interactive TV, mobile phones, kiosks and games consoles, allowing access to local government information and services. Looking Local is owned and managed by Kirklees Council and is available in around 50% of homes via SKY and Virgin Media along with broadband enabled Freeview boxes.

With 14 years of management consultancy, new media and software development experience in the public and private sector, Guy has a passion for delivering public services on emerging channels. These new channels are set to witness fundamental changes to the way citizens interact with government and the wider public sector over the next five years. Key to this will be engaging those without PC access or skills, the digitally unenegaged, this is the very audience Looking Local is focused on.

Looking Local: Reaching Patients Other Channels Cannot Reach

The Internet has revolutionised healthcare by giving immediate 24/7 access to a wealth of health related information and services. Efficiencies are being realised by all health providers and healthcare has changed dramatically.


However around 17 million adults in the UK do not have access to the web and with the digital divide broadly mapping to socially deprived areas it means that millions of people who need support are missing out on the benefits of Internet health services.


Looking Local is a government owned and run portal on digital interactive TV and mobile phones. Already offering access to GP appointment booking, repeat prescriptions and health related information, Looking Local is also working with leading providers to deliver telecare and telehealth.


With proof that we are reaching those without Internet and driven by tackling isolation and loneliness, Looking Local can extend your reach and deliver services to those who need them most.


Malcolm Stewart, CEO, Visionradio Ltd

Malcolm Stewart

Since graduating from University in 1986, Malcolm has pursued a career in sales, marketing and business development.

After a thirteen-year career with Panasonic UK which culminated in a role as Head of Multimedia Strategy, the experience gained in developing Service Provider business opportunities from the perspective of the consumer equipment manufacturer provided the springboard for Malcolm to branch out to set up Visionradio in June 2000.

Since then Visionradio’s activities have been centred around exploring innovative solutions for Service Provision, focusing on including delivery to non-computer devices.

Visionradio’s work in this area, in particular  on Interactive Internet TV (IITV) has led to Malcolm being engaged as an advisor to central government on digital inclusion policy.

Promoting and prolonging independent living

In a world with an increasing aging population, exponential developments in technology, and ever increasing costs faced by organisations and individuals, now is the time to ensure that advances in communication and transactional capabilities are made available to support the widest range of society, not just the “digitally included”

This presentation covers various developments and ideas surrounding the use of interactive internet services, and poses the question of how best these could be brought to bear to allow people to continue to remain independent, socially active and cared for within their familiar environment


The organisers reserve the right to alter the programme without notice.

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