Information and Communication Technologies in the Welfare Services

Book Cover: Information & CommunicationEdited by Elizabeth Harlow and Stephen A Webb.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1843100495


Sadly, the curate’s egg springs to mind over these essays which look at how new technologies are, for good or ill, changing both health and social care, writes John Carr.

Some of the chapters are written in a lucid and accessible style, so the book ought to appeal to a wide cross-section of readers. The introduction, for example, gives a highly readable overview of the history of the development of technologies across a range of welfare services.

However, one then turns to the chapter with the interesting title of “Health collaborative learning and the collapse of professionalism: The information brothel” which through a “hermeneutic approach” considers “health informatics as historically unique socio-technical and ‘techno-economic paradigms’.” Definitely not for the uninitiated.

John Carr is associate director, children and technology department, NCH.

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