Doctors divided over £2.3bn NHS IT project

OK in principle, but what about the implementation?

Nearly a third of UK doctors think the NHS’s National Programme for IT (NPfIT) is a bad use of resources according to a survey conducted by GP -oriented portal Medix UK.

The £2.3 billion project has divided opinion in the medical profession, and raised concerns over the way the project is being implemented.

According to the survey, doctors are broadly supportive of the project: over half of UK doctors (53 per cent) believe that the project will improve both their working lives and clinical care, and the vast majority (75 per cent) think it is an important project.

Computerisation of patient records and the provision of access to a common patient record emerged as the most important aspect of the NPfIT, in the eyes of both GPs and other doctors.

However, the results also show that there are serious reservations about how the project as a whole is being implemented. Three quarters of those surveyed said they had not been consulted at all about the project, with a further 11 per cent saying that the consultation process was inadequate.

Concerns are also evident over the practice of outsourcing the project to large commercial suppliers, as 29 per cent condemned such a move as a bad idea, with a further 31 per cent refusing to endorse it. ®

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