Sunday, May 27, 2012

"The Power of Information" (new Government strategy)

The power of information is the new information strategy from the UK's Department of Health which "sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for the NHS [National Health Service], public health and social care." As Vicky Grant noted in the talk she gave on Thursday, it doesn't mention information literacy and doesn't seem to say anything about libraries either. In fact it is using the word "Information" to mean (in a fuzzy way) technology, networks and actual information content. However, as regards information content, it seems like the focus is on the information generated within the NHS, rather than having a real perspective on patient needs for information.
I'm afraid with this one, I find it impossible to write impartially, as a quick glance at the site made me angry as a UK citizen who values the NHS. You will see from the one slide which is supposed to make the whole strategy easy to understand that basically they want everyone to go online for everything, including things like booking doctor's appointments. This will leave people like my mother (who is very alert and independent, but has worsening sight and does not use the internet) with a second class service, I assume.
"One of the key commitments is that you will be able to view your GP record online by 2015." I'm sure that this promise has nothing to do with saving the Government money - except Information Age reports that - "Online GP records will save over £2bn, DoH claims". Hmm.
On Thursday I did a post on my cpd23 blog about using Storify and coincidentally they have put together a Storify page on the new strategy: It would be an interesting task for an information literacy class to match the stories snagged for this Storify, and see whether they reflect the full spectrum of commentary on it, or indeed to assemble alternative stories.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Goat in Maryon Park, May 2012

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