CCL Timeline

CCL Timeline

CCL (Clinical Computing Ltd)

 CCL was the first company in the UK to develop and commercially exploit computing systems supporting clinical care in renal units.

CCL was established in 1979 by Mike Gordon and Conrad Venn, who had been colleagues together in the Department of Medicine at Charing Cross Hospital. There, under Professor Hugh de Wardener, they had introduced a computerised record system for the renal unit.

Mike Gordon (MG) became CCL’s managing director and  Conrad Venn (CV)  its core programmer.

Here is a timeline of CCL’s contribution to UK renal care as recalled by Conrad Venn.

Early Events (MG)


1958 Graduated from Cambridge (Physics)
1958 Worked at the first UK satellite ground station (Goonhilly)
1963 Graduated from London (Physics)
1964 Joined the electronics group at St Thomas’s Hospital where he developed an interest in computers
1971 Became a systems analyst at Charing Cross Hospital for one of the earliest PAS systems
1973 Joined the Department of Medicine as Lecturer in Computing, under Prof H E de Wardener, to develop a computerised record system for the hospital’s renal unit


Early Events (CV)


1976 Enrolled as Computer Science undergraduate at Imperial College, London
Dec 1977 Introduced to MG by Peter Throsby, Assistant Director of the Department of Computing & Control at Imperial College
Jul 1979 Graduated from Imperial College


Later Events (MG+CV)


Dec 1977 MG met CV to discuss the project and potential part-time work
Q1 1978 CV joined team to work on the Charing Cross Medical School research project to ‘computerise’ the Hospital Renal Unit
Early 1979 Meeting with Martin Knapp from Nottingham City Hospital Renal Unit (and others) to review the project and compare with other home-brew projects at various UK Renal Units. Conclusion was that the CX project was “substantially ahead of other prototypes”
Jun 1979 Demonstrated the project at EDTA Conference in Amsterdam. Generated much interest from Nephrologists all over Europe. Returned with a list of 65 ‘very interested’ parties
Jul 1979 Registered the company name ‘Clinical Computing Limited‘
Apr 1980 Re-developed as ‘Clinical Data System’ (CDS) on DEC PDP-11 computers
Mid 1980 Installed the first system at Nottingham City Hospital
Late 1980 Added first flexibility features to allow adaptation for individual client installations
1981 Installed systems at Liverpool Royal Infirmary & St James’s Hospital, Leeds
1982 Installed systems at Sheffield, Exeter, plus two others
1983 Installed at several UK sites and Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
1984 Installed several UK sites and five systems at Mayo Clinic (Renal + 4 x Transplant)
1980s Extended to support 19 different specialties, including Diabetic, Maternity, Cardiac, Transplant, Organ Matching
Late 1980s Used by the majority of UK Renal Units
1988 Re-developed for IBM PCs as ‘Proton’
1990 Ported to VAX/VMS
1991 Ported to Unix, including HP-UX, IBM-AIX, Sun (and later Linux)
1992 Sold licences to National Medical Care (NMC) for (initially) 500+ centres in the US, eventually extended to approx. 2,000 centres. NMC was later acquired by Fresenius
Late 1990s Used by Renal (and other specialty) Units across Europe, USA, Saudi, Australia & New Zealand
1996-2000 Re-developed for Windows as ‘Clinical Vision’
2017 CCL acquired by Constellation Software, inc.

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by John Feehally