At the TSA conference a month ago, a couple of people approached me [Steve] and said “You should check out what’s happening at Newham”, indicating that something was amiss with the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) project there, but refusing to tell me what.
Well, I can’t do much with non-information like that, but last week I learned from a reliable source [see comments] that recent project board meetings with the Department of Health have been cancelled; that Fred Reardon, the Telecare Project Manager was ‘let go’ [see comments]; and that two of the other three project managers are on the way out after Christmas. That only leaves the programme director, Martin Scarfe, and the fourth project manager holding the fort.
Newham was slow to get into providing public information on the WSD, but then started to come through strongly with its website http://www.newhamwsdtrial.org. However, there is, of course, no news there of this turn of events.
Is the WSD Programme at risk altogether? Or just at risk of being fudged?
Martin Scarfe was given the opportunity to comment before posting this item, but nothing has been heard from him.
If you know something that you think the public should know about these events, leave a comment. If you wish to comment anonymously, email Steve first or phone +44 (0)20 8144 1643
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UPDATE: Tuesday 15th 2:15pm
In response to the above question I had the following from a reader whose identity I will keep anonymous. Any further responses will go into the usual comment section.
The fact is that the heaviest and most demanding element of the WSD project, patient recruitment, has come to an end and the workload has reduced enormously, requiring fewer people working on the project.
The guys involved with the Newham WSD achieved what at one stage seemed like the impossible: they inherited a project that had no direction or substance despite the DH and the evaluation team’s insistence that no non-English speaking patients could join the programme. This hindered the recruitment process as I am sure you will understand in a extremely diverse London Borough.
My advice is…do not discredit your website by getting involved in this gossip as I do admire your website and the work it does and this industry needs good positive stories.
The only people to really suffer are the people who need assistive technology to be deployed so we can improve their quality of lives and that must be the industry’s objective.
Lets move onwards and upwards.
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