SUPPLEMENT EDITOR'S COMMENT

Published: 26/05/2005, Volume II5, No. 5957 Page 1

How much of a difference will a name change make to the old national IT Programme? You sense NHS Connecting for Health will need more than a rebranding to help it thrive; not just personal commitment from clinicians and managers, but for trusts to spend to deliver their part of the bargain.

It is this point that NHS IT director Richard Granger can't help but return to time and time again. Trusts should be seeing 4 per cent of their total spend going on IT. But It is not happening.

Mr Granger was on the case once more at Healthcare Computing 2005 (pages 8-9). Now he wants performance ratings and managers' appraisals to reflect IT use and development.

For little acorns to become great oaks, NHS CfH needs more compulsion on trusts to take action.

Indeed Acorn - one of the geodemographic classifications that crunch postcodes and other data to create highly localised information - could help both commissioners and providers get a clearer picture of the likely health needs in their community (pages 4-6).

Such systems are normally used for marketing, but the health sector is finding they can help to provide focus for the public health agenda.

If you have comments or ideas for Intelligence please e-mail alexis.nolan@emap.com. The next issue will be published on 8 September.