Feeds

NHS staff oblivious to £6.2bn IT programme

Never heard of it, mate

The essential guide to IT transformation

Vast numbers of National Health Service front-line personnel are apparently oblivious to the £6.2bn national IT programme currently being rolled out, according to new research.

A survey for NHS Connecting for Health found that nurses were least aware of the programme, with half knowing absolutely nothing about it, including three out of 10 who had not even heard its name mentioned.

While staff in the North East had the highest awareness levels, communication problems seem particularly acute in the Southern cluster region. Some 86 per cent of nurses there knew "not very much" or nothing at all about the programme's work.

Although NHS Connecting for Health, since launching in 2002, appears to have had greater success in communicating to NHS managers, results from the poll, conducted in July by Mori, indicate that many clinical staff are far from fully engaged.

Overall, the survey of over 1,200 NHS personnel shows that just over half feel they are fairly informed. Similarly, only 48 per cent of GPs say they were informed, and awareness among hospital doctors also looks to be an issue, with just 38 per cent of those surveyed professing to know at least a fair amount about the programme.

Another significant finding is that only around half of the staff questioned were favourable towards to the programme, with one in five going in the opposite direction. According to the poll, doctors were found to be the most critical, due to reasons ranging from lack of engagement and consultation to implementation dates not being met.

Mori state that overall the survey results are broadly positive. "A key message is that all staff groups, including doctors, are much more favourable towards the future goals of the programme than they are towards the programme in its current shape", the research says.

It adds that the challenge of managing stakeholder expectations during roll out is "probably, in Mori's view, as important as making the technology itself work".

The report came out days after NHS Connecting for Health published a new annual business plan - its first since being established in April as an executive agency in its own right.

The report devotes a page to "Communications and engagement", stating: "The National Programme must engage and enthuse the public and stakeholders, such as staff, patients and carers, in the changes and benefits it will bring."

It outlines plans in four key areas of work – co-ordinating the programme's communications and information across the NHS, building support among NHS staff and other bodies, engaging the public and improving its relations with the media.

Richard Granger, the programme's Chief Executive, says in the foreword to the business plan: "We have taken the first steps on the journey to enable the transformation of the NHS."

© eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Related links

A Baseline Study on the National Programme for IT - Summary (PDF: 170KB) and Full Report (PDF: 749KB)
NHS Connecting for Health - Business Plan 2005/2006 (PDF: 1.25MB)

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.