Friday, October 20, 2006

Abuse of Chatham House Rules

I was pleased to meet with Richard Granger, the Director General of NHS Connecting For Health, (aka NHS IT Chief) earlier this week. I have to say he was very impressive and it was a good opportunity to hear about the GREAT progress being made in many areas of the National Programme for IT. Clearly, all things the press is not interested in printing.

However, I can't say any more because the event was Chatham House rules. That is, people can take away what was said in the meeting, but it is not to be referenced in a way which makes it attributable to any individual present. This encourages openness and enables us all to learn from mistakes as well as successes.

Richard Granger suffers much at the hands the media. You could argue that's just part of the job- and that is fair enough. My point is that comments which he made last week in a Chatham House rules governed event are now splashed across the pages of the New Statesman and have been picked up by all the usual healthcare IT publishers. We have to lose this rapcious appetite for sensational headlines if we can have reasonable discussions we can all learn from.

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