Published: 17/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5947 Page 1

Welcome to the latest issue of Intelligence, HSJ's information, technology and innovation supplement. And doubly welcome to new readers attending this year's Healthcare Computing 2005 - please make sure you carry on reading us.

There is no hotter topic at the moment than choose and book - bringing together both the potential to transform patients' experiences and the problem of clinician opposition. As one speaker at a recent HSJ conference said, anything which entails GPs holding two concepts in mind at the same time is bound to flummox them (and he was a GP). As we report (pages 4-6), progress has been slower than originally planned - for both technical and human reasons.

Whatever its critics might say, the national IT programme cannot be criticised for lack of resolution. Here it differs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where development of healthcare IT has either been more collaborative or less organised, depending on your stance. On pages 810 we draw out the differences.

We also look at the people behind the changing face of IT - from the man heading up a whole region's strategy to the women taking clinical coding into a new dimension (pages 12-14) If you have comments or ideas for Intelligence please e-mail alexis. nolan @emap. com.

The next issue will be published on 26 May.