Friday, July 10, 2009

Swine Flu

I have been watching the swine flu outbreak since it started. The rate of cases were doubling every seven days until figures stopped being published a week ago. There are now around 9,700 cases in the UK with the West Midlands being one of the highest affected.

I prepared a briefing for work recently as I am running a large IT programme. This does not look like being the mass killer similar to 1918 spanish flu that some feared. However it could debilitate 60% of the working population if it peaks all in one go, due to infection and those looking after family. Some estimates suggest it could impact economic recovery by 2 years. Of course that assumes there is a recovery, but that is another discussion.

I do know that the NHS in Warwickshire are very prepared for this

There is some good advice on the NHS website.
This will help you diagnose your symptoms and tell you what to do.
You should then phone your doctor who will be able to confirm your symptoms and tell you what to do. There are centres around the county that can distribute medication if needed.

I don't think there is cause for panic. Though I have already stocked up on Lemsip and Chicken Soup just in case.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

UK Digital Road to Recovery - Good for Warwick & Leamington

Last Thursday I attended a meeting in Parliament organised by Eurim, a cross party group on the information society.We were discussing the recently published Digital Britain paper.

Anyone interested in IT and involved in the industry should read the management summary of this document, as it lays out the governments strategy for building our digital infrastructure. Why?

Isn't this just a collossal waste of tax payers money?

Well no. It will create jobs that will help stimulate the economy and it will leave us with the infrastructure Britain needs to compete in the 21st century economy and by applying IT to the delivery of public services we can get a better services, such as when we renew our tax disk and as tax payers we can make savings in public expenditure.

Warwick and Leamington are set to benefit from this. We have several large IT organisations & creative industries within our towns. We have the kind of towns that attract the skills to take advantage of this new economy.

Of course the interesting debate is, who will pay for all of this. My view is that private enterprise should be encouraged to build as much of this as possible. After all the internet has evolved soley through the private sector with little government involvement. Though where government needs to assist is with training the skills needed and investing in difficult to reach parts of the network.