Article ID: CBB629384019

The Experimental Computer Programme: The First Computing Initiative for the National Health Service in England (2017)


The Experimental Computer Programme (1967-1979) was the first central government intervention for hospital computing in the English National Health Service. Influenced by developments in the United States, the UK Department of Health envisioned integrated medical and management information systems, operating in real time. The approach to implementation was experimental and piecemeal. The program was overambitious for the computer technology available, but social, economic, and political barriers were equally significant. Despite positioning as a research program, evaluation was poorly managed. Although the program was judged to be a failure at the time, some projects were partially successful. The history of the program remains relevant to the question of how governments might best support hospital computing initiatives in relatively centralized, publicly funded health systems.

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Authors & Contributors
Gorsky, Martin
Sheard, Sally
Perry, M.
Stewart, John
Croxson, Bronwyn
Reinarz, Jonathan
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Social History of Medicine
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Twentieth-Century British History
British Journal for the History of Science
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
New York University
Pen and Sword
I. B. Tauris
Public health
Health care
History of Computing
Medicine and society
Medicine and government
Murray, David Stark
Kerridge, Phyllis M. Tookey
Bevin, Aneurin
Great Britain
United States
Manchester (England)
Bristol (England)
20th century
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
18th century
National Health Service (Great Britain)
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
Control Data Corporation

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