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Catalogue of papers and correspondence of KEITH FREDERICK BOWDEN (1936 - 1982) Relating to the University of Essex / Guy's Hospital Medical Records Project

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Reference CSAC 105/2/85
Covering dates 1967 - 1975
Held by Essex University Library
Extent 96 files
Creators Bowden, Keith Frederick, 1936-1982, scientist and computer scientist
Note Compiled by Jeannine Alton and Peter Harper
The work of the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, and the production of this catalogue, are made possible by the support of the following societies and institutions:
The Biochemical Society
The Charles Babbage Foundation for the History of Information Processing
The Institute of Physics
The Institution of Electrical Engineers
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers
The Nuffield Foundation
The Rhodes Trustees
The Royal Society of London
The Wolfson Foundation
The papers were received from Mr. I.R. MacCallum of the Department of Computer Science, University of Essex. We are grateful to Mr. MacCallum for help in identifying and describing material, and for comments on sections of the draft catalogue.

Administrative history:
The Thamesmead Community Health Project was originally suggested by G.A. Barnard of Essex University and W.J.H. Butterfield of Guy's Hospital Medical School. It envisaged the use of computer facilities for information handling in respect of positive health care at a medical centre in the new town of Thamesmead. In February 1967 the Ministry of Health agreed to finance, for five years from 1 October 1967, a Senior Lecturership at the University of Essex with special reference to the health service. The person appointed (Bowden) was to work in the first instance on the Thamesmead Project. At the same time the Ministry also agreed to finance two temporary fellowships to run from July to September 1967 'to keep in touch with work on the Thamesmead computer specification'. Bowden and I.R. MacCallum were appointed to these temporary fellowships before starting on their appointments to the staff of Essex University in October.
By June 1967 the Ministry of Health had decided that the provision of a computer at Thamesmead did not accord with their priorities for computer development in the health service, but they wished the project to continue if computer facilities could be made available elsewhere. In October, Bowden and MacCallum, with M.E. Abrams and J.O.P. Chamberlain of Guy's Hospital, presented to the Ministry a major feasibility study on 'a system of information handling in the Thamesmead Health Project', which was now defined in terms of the creation of integrated health records stored on and accessible by means of a computer (see A.1). For the purposes of the project it was proposed to use computers at the University of Essex linked to an established health centre which would provide 'earlier and diverse experience' of general practitioner needs. Funding, chanelled through Essex University, was provided for three years from May 1968 and subsequently extended for eighteen months. The original title of Thamesmead Project was changed to the Guy's/Essex General Practice Computing Project. The computer personnel were based at Essex, Guy's Hospital provided medical support, and an established general practice at Harlow (Dr. J.B. Davis) provided the experience of general practitioner needs necessary for the creation of integrated health records. Eventually about 2,500 records were computerised and the project went 'live' for approximately fifteen months with direct links between the Harlow practice and the Essex computer. This was the first time all the general medical records of a doctor had been maintained on a computer system and also the first time a doctor had the opportunity to consult and update a computer-based record at the time of consultation. The project documentation was subsequently sent to Exeter Hospital where many of the ideas developed in the Essex/ Guy's Hospital project were incorporated into another experimental project with a practice at Ottery St. Mary.

CSAC 105/2/85/B.1-B.12 Ministry of Health (later Department of Health and Social Security)
CSAC 105/2/85/B.13-B.29 Harlow
CSAC 105/2/85/B.30-B.39 Steering Committee
CSAC 105/2/85/B.40-B.53 Essex Medical Project Meetings
CSAC 105/2/85/B.54-B.56 Thamesmead
CSAC 105/2/85/B.57-B.59 Miscellaneous

SECTION A REPORTS  CSAC 105/2/85/A.1 - A.3  [n.d.]

Thamesmead Report  CSAC 105/2/85/A.1  October 1967

In original folder.

Administrative history:
The report was the work of M.E. Abrams and J.O.P. Chamberlain of Guy's Hospital Medical School and Bowden and I.R. MacCallum of the University of Essex.

'A request to the Ministry of Health for support for the development of a system of information handling in the 'Thamesmead' health project' (4pp.) with 'A report concerning a system of information handling in the 'Thamesmead' health project' (38pp. + 8 appendices)

Medical Project Report, August 1971  CSAC 105/2/85/A.2  1971-1973

19pp.; 15 appendices

Duplicated typescript; In original spring-back binder.

'An application for extension of funds for the period January 1972-30 September 1973 for the Guy's/Essex medical project (includes progress report)'

University of Essex/Guy's Community Health Computer Unit Visitors' Handbook for the Mark 2.0 System  CSAC 105/2/85/A.3  September 1973

34 pp.

Duplicated typescript.


Ministry of Health (later Department of Health and Social Security)  CSAC 105/2/85/B.1-B.12  1967-73

A chronological sequence of correspondence and papers re grant awards and renewals, the progress of the project, policy objectives, computer equipment, etc.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.1  1967

Includes copies of correspondence with G.A. Barnard re appointment at the University of Essex of a senior lecturer in computing with special reference to the health service; also copy of letter to W.J.H. Butterfield re Thamesmead Community Health Service Project computer proposal.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.2  1968

Includes correspondence re National Health Computing Services Group. In August Bowden agreed to take on responsibility for a working party on the structure and coding of data.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.3  January-February 1969

Includes 3pp. draft statement on the Essex/Guy's Hospital project and the use of computer systems to improve the efficiency of the general practice arm of the health service, 21 January.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.4  July-November 1969 and n.d

Includes undated letter referring to the choice of a group practice at Harlow as a suitable place to install a display/keyboard during the pilot phase of the project. The reference to Harlow and the absence of any claim to have installed the equipment dates the document between July 1968 and July 1969 (private information from I.R. MacCallum).

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.5  January-May 1970 and n.d

Includes material re National Health Computer Services Group and conference on 'Man-Computer Interaction' organised by the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Also includes undated handwritten draft re application for an eighteen-month extension to the project, probably written in the last quarter of 1970 (private information from I.R. MacCallum).

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.6  1971

Includes correspondence re extension of DHSS support for the project.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.7  January-February 1972

Material re extension of grant including Bowden's letter of 15 February setting out principal objectives of project.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.8  March-April 1972

Includes letter from DHSS, 15 March, confirming extension of support for project.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.9  May 1972

Folder includes copy of DHSS paper setting out the department's views on the principles and methodology for evaluating the use of computers in the health service.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.10  July-November 1972

Further material re the renewal of support (to September 1973) and the future of the project.

Correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.11, 12  December 1972-January 1973

2 folders.

Correspondence and papers re 'Annual Review of the Use of Computers in the National Health Service (1973)'

Harlow  CSAC 105/2/85/B.13-B.29  [n.d.]

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.13-B.22  1967-73

A chronological sequence of correspondence re the organisation and running of the project at the Lister House group practice, Harlow (Dr. J.B. Davis).

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.13  1967-68

Includes copy of press statement issued from the University about the Ministry of Health grant for the development of computerised community health care records, October 1968.

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.14  April-July 1969

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.15  August-November 1969

Includes draft checklist of diseases of the lower respiratory system and 2pp. typescript statement by J.B. Davis headed 'Patient Identification (Internal)'.

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.16  January-April 1970

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.17  July-September 1970

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.18  October-December 1970

Includes Bowden's ms. note of a meeting with Davis, 5 October.

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.19  February-September 1971

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.20  October-December 1971

Includes copy of 'Practical Applications of Computing in Medicine: The Doctor/Patient Relationship: The Impact of a Computer on a Group Practice', a paper presented by Davis at the British Computer Society Medical Computing Conference, 1971.

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.21  1972

Harlow correspondence  CSAC 105/2/85/B.22  1973

Includes material about visit to Harlow by members of Ministry of Defence medical computing group.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscellaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.23-B.29  1967, 1969-71

Contents of a folder so inscribed divided into seven folders for ease of reference.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscellaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.23  December 1967, January-May 1969

Includes Progress Report on the Lister House (Harlow) Working Party, 27 January 1969, and investigation of the work of the receptionists at Lister House with a view to the computerisation of the appointments system.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscellaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.24  August-November 1969

Includes material re the editing task of the project and the cost-effectiveness of general practice.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscellaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.25  January 1970

Includes proposals for the input editing of check-lists and the definition of check-list assembly code.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscellaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.26  1970-71

Includes material re input formats for medical records and the print-out of certificates and forms, note of Harlow Working Party decisions up to 7 May 1970 and restatement of aims of Guy's/University of Essex Community Health Care Project, 26 August 1970.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscallaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.27  n.d

Papers on the administration and organisation of the Harlow practice.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscallaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.28  n.d

Papers re checklists of drugs and diseases.

'Harlow Working Party. Miscallaneous'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.29  n.d

Includes ms. notes for untitled lecture by Bowden.

Steering Committee  CSAC 105/2/85/B.30-B.39  [n.d.]

'Signed Steering Committee Minutes'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.30-B.35  1968-73

Administrative history:
At the first meeting on 11 June 1968 it was decided that the Steering Committee would be responsible for the progress of the Project and that the project leader, Bowden, and the Medical Adviser, Dr. M.E. Abrams, would report directly to the Committee.
At the second meeting on 18 July it was decided to organise a small working party, chaired by Bowden, to cope with day-to-day project studies.
The Steering Committee met alternately at Essex University and Guy's Hospital.

Contents of a spring-back binder so inscribed divided into six folders for ease of reference.
The papers are duplicated typescript agendas and minutes of the meetings of the University of Essex/Guy's Hospital General Practice Computing Unit Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project.

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.30  1968

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.31  1969

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.32  1970

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.33  1971

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.34  1972

Signed Steering Committee Minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.35  1973

'Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project. Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.36-B.39  1968-73

Contents of a folder so inscribed, divided into four folders for ease of reference; the material is mainly correspondence relating to organisation of, and attendance at, committee meetings

'Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project. Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.36  1968

Includes 3pp. ms. note by Bowden on meeting of 18 July and letter from Bowden to Ministry of Health, 14 November, re the ministry's financial support for the project

'Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project. Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.37  1969

Includes copy of British Medical Association Planning Unit Report no.3 'Computers in Medicine', with heavy underscoring and marginal emphasis, and 3pp. ms. notes, December, on the medical project timetable and hardware

'Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project. Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.38  1970

Includes copy of National Health Computing Services Group 'Report of the Working Party on Education and Training', March

'Steering Committee for the Medical Research Project. Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.39  1971-73

'Essex Medical Project Meetings'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.40-B.53  1970-74

Contents of a folder so inscribed

Agendas and minutes of meetings of the computer personnel at Essex involved in the project.  CSAC 105/2/85/B.40-B.48  [n.d.]

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.40  February 1970

Includes 8pp. duplicated ms. paper 'A note on the proposed I.P.R. [Integrated Patient Record] structure'

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.41  March-April 1970

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.42  May-July 1970

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.43  January, November 1971

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.44  April-May 1972

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.45  June-July 1972

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.46  August 1972

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.47  September-December 1972

Agendas and minutes  CSAC 105/2/85/B.48  1973-74

Computer operations  CSAC 105/2/85/B.49  n.d

Undated ms. and typescript notes re computer operations found with the Essex medical project meetings papers

Papers clipped inside front cover of 'Essex Medical Project Meetings' folder.  CSAC 105/2/85/B.50-B.53  [n.d.]

Papers clipped inside 'Essex Medical Project Meetings' folder  CSAC 105/2/85/B.50  February 1970, April 1972

'Input Formats for Past Medical Records of Patients Prior to System Operation. Revised 2.2.70.'
5pp. duplicated typescript.
2 ms. diagrams: 'Disc map - Side O' and 'Disc map - Side 1', 28 April 1972

Papers clipped inside 'Essex Medical Project Meetings' folder  CSAC 105/2/85/B.51  July-August 1972

Includes minutes of Harlow Working Party, 13 July and 24 August, and note on proposed specification for investigations, 2 August

Papers clipped inside 'Essex Medical Project Meetings' folder  CSAC 105/2/85/B.52  October-December 1972

Includes ms. notes by Bowden

Papers clipped inside 'Essex Medical Project Meetings' folder  CSAC 105/2/85/B.53  n.d

Includes 'Medical Research Project Installation Instructions' (24pp. duplicated typescript)

Thamesmead  CSAC 105/2/85/B.54-B.56  [n.d.]

'Thamesmead Correspondence'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.54  January-April 1972

Contents of a folder so inscribed.
Includes 2pp. memorandum 'Thamesmead & Guy's/Essex Computer Project', 22 January. By P.M. Higgins

'Thamesmead Working Party. Visit only'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.55  31 June 1972

Contents of a folder so inscribed.
Correspondence and papers re visit of Bowden to Thamesmead Health Centre

'Thamesmead Information'  CSAC 105/2/85/B.56  n.d

Contents of a folder so inscribed.
Miscellaneous material re Thamesmead Computer Project including note by P.M. Higgins on the computer at Thamesmead (3pp.) and paper from M.E. Abrams on 'A real time system for the handling of integrated patient records'

Miscellaneous  CSAC 105/2/85/B.57-B.59  [n.d.]

Miscellaneous  CSAC 105/2/85/B.57  19 May 1969

Institution of Electrical Engineers Control and Automation Division Colloquium on Cathode Ray Tube Displays
Duplicated proceedings

Miscellaneous  CSAC 105/2/85/B.58  20 January 1970

National Health Service Computer Policy and Development Branch Seminar on Visual Display Units
Duplicated proceedings (25pp.) including presentation on the basic principles of VDUs by Bowden

Miscellaneous  CSAC 105/2/85/B.59  n.d

Printed material re medical records, computers in the health services, etc


'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.1-C.5  1969-74

Contents of a folder so inscribed divided into five folders for ease of reference.

'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.1  1969

Includes Bowden's ms. note of expenditure 'calculated as of 19/11/69'.

'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.2  1970

Includes 2pp. note of the 'Burroughs Disc Saga', 23 December 1968 - 5 February 1970, and breakdown of costs of medical project, 4 August 1970 (8pp. ms.).

'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.3  January-August 1971

Includes Bowden's ms. notes of projected costs for 1972, cost break-down of medical project as of 18 January 1971, etc.

'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.4  November-December 1971

'Medical Project Financial Correspondence (mainly Harlow)'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.5  1972-74

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.6-C.12  1968-74

Statements of expenditure on the Ministry of Health (Medical Information Project) Grant N.25.

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.6  1968

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.7  1969

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.8  1970

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.9  1971

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.10  1972

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.11  1973

'N.25 Medical Project Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.12  1974

'N.55 Thamesmead Fund'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.13, C.14  1971-1972

Statements of the account.
C.13 1971 C.14 1972

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.15-C.31  1968-74

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.15  June-December 1968

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.16  January-June 1969

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.17  July-December 1969

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.18  January-June 1970

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.19  July-December 1970

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.20  January-June 1971

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.21  July-December 1971

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.22  January-March 1972

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.23  April-June 1972

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.24  July-September 1972

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.25  October-December 1972

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.26  January-March 1973

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.27  April-June 1973

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.28  July-September 1973

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.29  October-December 1973

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.30  1974

Invoices  CSAC 105/2/85/C.31  n.d

'Expenditure. Printing Slips'  CSAC 105/2/85/C.32  1969-70

In original folder.

Record of expenditure from grants  CSAC 105/2/85/C.33  28 June 1968-20 February 1975

Large hard-backed cash book, with record of expenditure from grants N. 25 and N. 30
Also includes list of books purchased from grant N.25 enclosed as a loose page.

SECTION D BIOGRAPHICAL  [no ref. or date]

Biographical material of K.F. Bowden, founder member of the University of Essex Department of Computer Science and leader of the project to apply computers to the maintenance of personal medical records.

Biographical  CSAC 105/2/85/D.1  n.d

Curriculum vitae and list of publications.
Press-cutting of obituary notice published in The Times.

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