Hi! I’m Marcus Baw. I’m a locum GP and Emergency Physician in Yorkshire, with a fairly unusual portfolio career in Health IT, health hacking, Open Source and some other stuff. I also founded and ran Leigh Hackspace for several years before we moved to Yorkshire, and I’m a self-taught polyglot developer.

Health technology and Open Source

I’ve been lucky enough to work in many areas of Health IT and Health Informatics, both in small agile setups and within large organisations. I have practical experience in:

real-world medical user needs · getting clinical engagement · improving documentation · clinical knowledge management · medical UI/UX design · ruby · iterative development · javascript · agile working · platform consultancy · ‘million-pound-chair’ detection · clinical safety · open sourcing your product · docker · vagrant


Through my work running openhealthhub.org, the Digital Health Networks forum for the Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO) Network, the Health CIO Network, the HSCIC Digital Leaders network, and the eHealth Ireland network, all of which are Discourse forums, I’ve become pretty adept at setting up secure, UK-hosted Discourse forums, and in building and maintaining an active clinical community using web forums. Contact me if your organisation or community needs a Discourse forum.


The NHS spends about £500 million each time it refreshes Windows licenses, and finally people are looking at alternatives. NHoS is desktop operating system derived from Ubuntu, which we’ve optimised for the NHS.


In 2012 I co-founded a non-profit, openhealthhub.org, with Rob Dyke and Ewan Davis. Openhealthhub started out called openGPSoC, and was originally a push for an open source GP clinical system (secretly, it still is) at a time when the GP System of Choice contract was being renegotiated. Since then it’s developed into a broader organisation dedicated to open standards, open source code, and open governance in Health IT.

Nowadays it also provides the missing open forum in Health IT. There is a lot of online discussion going on in Health IT, but too much of it is within closed organisations, in closed fora, or otherwise Not On The Open Internet. Openhealthhub.org is different: it’s public, free, open and always will be. Join here

Leigh Hackspace

Leigh Hackspace is a non-profit Makerspace in the town of Leigh, Greater Manchester. I set up Leigh Hackspace with a small group of local makers who felt they wanted a place where they could get together and make things. In just 3 years it’s grown from a weekly meetup in a café to a large membership organisation, backed by a Community Interest Company.

WiFi in the NHS

I ran some surveys of WiFi access for NHS Staff in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and highlighted the issue of poor WiFi access for frontline NHS Staff. More recently I am involved in trying to popularise the idea of an Eduroam-like WiFi roaming system across all public sector organisations.

GP / Emergency Medicine

Feel free to check out my Medical CV and call me if you need a locum GP, although my availability is very limited these days…

Supporting Open Source

My company Baw Medical supports open source with more than just nice warm thoughts and talk – with real actual money too. Baw Medical donates to open source projects I rate highly or have used in my work. Recent donations: LimeSurvey, PortableApps Platform, Wikipedia, Mozilla, AntennaPod, the Internet Archive.