Published: 24/01/2002, Volume II2, No. 5789 Page 12

The Department of Health has issued an ebusiness strategy to support the NHS plan and government IT initiatives. It envisages a big expansion of NHS Direct and other initiatives in the home.

A Cabinet-level committee is being set up to discuss e-democracy, headed by leader of the House of Commons Robin Cook.

The UK health service lags behind other countries and the private sector in its use of IT, according to the Wanless report. It sees the need for investment in IT as a major pressure on future NHS funding.

The NHS Information Authority announced a programme to replace Project Connect at its second annual conference.

NHS Connect will initially concentrate on planning the future of NHS networking and infrastructure services.

A new search engine, care-pathways database and 'information shop' for emergency care staff have been added to the pilot National electronic Library for Health to mark its first year of operation.