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…

Continue reading →


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…

Continue reading →

Three Things I Wish I'd Known About NHS Technology

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…

Continue reading →

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,…

Continue reading →

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.…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

NHS Hack Day

NHS Hack Day Logo. For geeks who love the NHS.

It has been about 6 months since I started my new job at NHSX - I've loved getting stuck in to the Health Service culture. But there was one thing I was missing... a decent hack day! I was delighted to get a ticket to NHS Hack Day. This is a quick post about the…

Continue reading →

Plot twist!

Doctor Who holding a glowing key

A mysterious woman, with a non-London accent and blonde hair, reached out her hand. She asked me a simple, yet terrifying, question - "Do you want to come on an adventure?" Sadly, Hadley Beeman does not have a TARDIS (Well, as far as any of us can tell...). What she does have is an interesting…

Continue reading →