I am a time-served health informatician, have been working in and for the NHS for many years - operationally, in consultancy and academia. I am passionate about getting the important contribution of HI recognised, getting the brand of 'HI' understood and getting HI into the front office. Getting all that practice in the domain for some part of their role, into considering UKCHIP registration by virtue of committment to our Code of Conduct and assessment of their fitness to practice (as demonstrated by formal standards of skills and understanding is high on my agenda ... but it would be wouldn't it - as I am Director (Standards) on the UKCHIP Board!
Writing up the interview with UKCHIP I naturally asked myself whether I needed to find an opposition view to balance the article but it's hard to think why anyone would be opposed to bolstering safeguards for the public and promoting better practice in health informatics.
I guess there are people who don't like regulation - full stop. Apart from them, it's hard to know why we don't 'just do it'.
Sure, some accommodation would have to be reached with other registration bodies so that medical and nursing informatics specialists didn't have to pay twice but that can't be beyond the wit of authorities.
Naturally I am another enthusiast for the cause of demonstrating professionalism through registration against standards, especially as the interviewee mentioned by Linda previously. Surely in the challenging times we find ourselves in (personally economically, NHS savings targets, massive reorganisation, fewer jobs....) it is vital to look for every way of showing to others (employer, line manager, colleagues, etc) that we have been independently accredited against the relevent standards for health informaticians. It would great to hear from those that have another veiw as well as from supporters of the view.
I completely support registration for health informatics professionals, would like to see DH recognise this and ask for it to be included as a requirement on all HI job descriptions in the NHS. I have sympathy with those who have worked in the field for many years and have no formal qualifications, but the UKCHIP registration process takes account of this experience, it doesn't just rely on pieces of paper to show you are competent. For those who complain it takes too long, would you not spend two hours on a job application? :-)
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