Realising 'joined-up' geography in the National Health Service: the role of geographical information systems?

Higgs, G., Smith, D.P. and Gould, I. (2003) Realising 'joined-up' geography in the National Health Service: the role of geographical information systems? Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 21 (2). pp. 241-258. ISSN 0263-774X

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the use of geographical information systems (GIS) within primary and secondary health care sectors in the United Kingdom in relation to wider notions of 'joined-up' government -- a key tenet of central government initiatives aimed at addressing problems such as social exclusion and polarisation. Drawing on findings from a national-level questionnaire survey, and follow-up semi-structured interviews with key respondents from the National Health Service (NHS), we have found that there has been an increase in GIS uptake within health organisations in the last decade. However, there has been limited collaboration between NHS organisations and local authorities on projects that utilise GIS. This lack of interorganisational activity is underpinned by the lack of a service-level agreement for digital data provision within NHS organisations, ambiguous understandings of data confidentiality requirements, and a limited awareness of the benefits of joined-up working arrangements. The paper concludes with a suggestion that significant organisational and cultural changes are required to facilitate enabling contexts for enhanced collaborative use of GIS between NHS organisations and local authorities, in order to support the wider joined-up government agenda currently being promoted in the United Kingdom.

Item Type:Journal article
Subjects:F000 Physical Sciences > F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences
DOI (a stable link to the resource):10.1068/c06r
Faculties:Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environment and Technology
ID Code:1322
Deposited By:editor environment
Deposited On:24 Nov 2006
Last Modified:08 May 2012 09:10

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