That costs the same as five nurses!

Pamphlet for the New National Health service.

Tom Dolan has an excellent blog post which touches, in part, on comparative cost. If you're working for, say, a TV company - then you know exactly how much an hour of TV programming costs on average. If you want to do something like build a website, it's quite natural for people to evaluate its […]

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Poorly folded letters lead to exposure of medical data

A letter addressed to me. Just inside the plastic window you can see the word "colonoscopies".

I returned home from holiday to a pile of letters. Mostly junk, a few Christmas cards, and something from the NHS. This is what the envelope looked like: As it happens, I'm not particularly concerned about who knows I had a fairly normal medical procedure. I've blogged a bit about it and Tweeted about the […]

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Giving Blood - Part Ⅲ

I just made a donation. Find out how you can at

Last time it was a mid-pandemic trip to a giant shopping mall. This time, a pre-Xmas trip to a youth centre. Glamorous! I always feel slightly boring when I answer the pre-donation questionnaire. No, I haven't been travelling to exotic locations, having sex with multiple strangers in exchange for drugs and money. I could blame […]

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Leaflet describing SpikeVax.

I am in awe of how simple the booster shot booking process was. I visited the site on my phone while in bed and hungover, typed in my NHS number, confirmed a few details, and it listed a pharmacy a 20 minute walk away as having appointments. A couple of weeks later and my 2xAZ […]

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Three Things I Wish I'd Known About NHS Technology

Pamphlet for the New National Health service.

It has been a year since I stopped working for NHSX. A few weeks ago, someone reached out to me inquiring about a job there. They wanted to know what they needed to know before joining. As well as the normal moaning about the quality of vending machine coffee, I told them about three things […]

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Vaxed and Waxed

Nine weeks ago, I got my first does of the AZ vaccine. Yesterday, I received my second. Despite all the dire warnings of overloaded websites and limited slots, the booking process was boringly anticlimactic. I entered my NHS number, date of birth, postcode - and was then given a choice of locations. I picked one, […]

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Excel as a mapping tool

System dialogue saying opening Hospital Map XLSX.

About a million years ago, my wife's work sent her on a training course optimistically titled "How To Use Excel As A Database." We were both horrified. Excel is a perfectly good spreadsheet program - but it is categorically not a database! OK, it has rows and columns which sorta look like a database table. […]

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Weeknotes: Vaccinated - Part 1

Me holding my NHS vaccination card.

I know exactly what I was doing on 9th April 2020. I was worrying about open-sourcing the NHS Covid Tracing app. I was worrying about tech standards for booking test slots. I was worrying if I'd ever see my family and friends again. I was worrying if the NHS websites would contain enough semantic HTML […]

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You have no idea of the changes which are coming

The New National Health Service.

I wrote this before the pandemic. I chickened out of publishing it because I was working for NHSX at the time. Some of these things have come to pass. Some are yet to come. I'll never forget the look of horror on my professor's face when I told him I didn't think his university course […]

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Doesn't everyone have unlimited data?

A graph showing pre-pay usage is gradually declining.

One of the (many many many) things our team worked on this week finally went live: You can now access most NHS services from your mobile, with no data charges.In awe of the team who pulled this together very quickly. — Terence Eden (@edent) March 18, 2020 All the UK's major mobile networks have […]

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