Today is a good day for a U-turn – PR Week Post #24

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Well, it seems I now have an answer to the question I posed on 21st November concerning the overspend on the NHS’s IT programme.
In today’s Pre-Budget Report, Alistair Darling will announce that part of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) will be shelved in a push to slash public spending to (hopefully) pay-off some of our nation’s borrowing. The budget for the National Programme for IT has currently amassed a spend of more than £12bn (versus the original estimate of £2.3bn) but a specific ‘aspect’ is now not deemed “essential to the NHS frontline”.  Conveniently, it is something the Treasury thinks: “we don’t need to go ahead with just now.”

Sadly though the savings are only likely to run to the hundreds of millions

You can read more about today’s report at:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2009/pre_budget_report_2009/default.stm

Time to embrace science – PR Week Post #23

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As with much in modern life, the pace of scientific research has risen markedly over the last 20 years.  Our paper, magazines and online news outlets are filled on a daily basis with new study findings.  Today it is ‘Can we use cannabis to treat alcoholism?’ and ‘Are grey hairs genetic or stress-induced?’.  With the exception of the major clinical studies (which clearly have a significant impact clinical practice or patient outcomes), most of what is published is merely informative and does little to change how we view things.

Today, however, we are given a real treat and a true reminder of how far the human race has come in the last three centuries…

To mark the Royal Society’s (the UK’s national academy of science) 350th anniversary, 60 of the most famous and influential papers (from the 60,000 published) have been catalogued in a searchable online tool (http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/).  To pick a few of my favourites: The first animal-to-animal blood transfusion was highlighted in a 1666 paper; the first electric battery was brought to our attention in 1800 and the development of penicillin written-up in 1940.

Let me know what stands out for you?