Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Patricia Hewitts Boobs
Poor Patsy Hewitt just lurches from disaster to disaster.
She made her name in British politics as press secretary to Neil Kinnock, helping snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the 1992 General Election. From 1994-1997 she was head of research at Andersen Consulting
Rebranded "Accenture", one of its subsidiaries - Accenture Technology Solutions is dedicated to providing technology solutions to the client. The solutions work is mainly outsourced to low-wage developing countries like India and The Philippines.
Her next career milestone was the destruction of the remnants of the British car industry as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. She claimed that the receivers had been called in to the firm before the event had taken place and then, in order to avoid embarrassing redundancies during an election campaign, she gave a further £6m of taxpayers money to the company to keep it solvent for the few days prior to polling day. Almost all this money was paid by the Receivers to themselves for a few weeks work.
Flushed with this success she took over at the helm of the NHS and steered it "to its best year ever in 2006". Putting her faith in technology she ploughed ahead with MTAS - a computer based system of selecting trainees for jobs in the face of expert advice that it would be a disaster and then blamed the experts when it was.
Not content with one computer disaster she has continued to support the misguided and widely ridiculed Connecting for Health computer system at a cost estimated to eventually reach £12b. When asked to justify this expense she always quotes the success of PACS - the picture archiving and communication system now widely used by x-ray departments. While PACS has indeed been a success she has as much justification in seeking credit for this as for the replacement of film photography by digital cameras - the technology is analogous and the transition to PACS was occurring without Government involvement; the driving force actually being lower costs. PACS does bring together two things which are close to Patricia's heart (yes, we might be talking about boobs here): outsourcing work to low wage economies and the impossibility of ensuring computer security.
It would be interesting to see if Patricia has her mammograms stored digitally on an NHS hospital PACS. I doubt it because the security is so poor that it would only a matter of time before they appear on the internet. I did hear that politicians would be able to opt out of having their medical details on-line because of national security; celebs too, but I can't remember the reason they gave for opting out. In our Hospital Trust, until recently, the password for nurses (or indeed anyone) wishing to access patient data and images was "nurse". This was not considered much of a security risk because we don't have many Labour politicians or celebs where I work.
Time was when anyone with a vibrator up their rectum would have their x-rays shown around the doctors mess - with the marvels of PACS and the NHS IT system the images can be shared with the whole world. Let all hope it's not Patricia's biggest boob.