Feeds

Cost and confidentiality concerns undermine NHS IT plan

Fewer doctors think NPfIT is a priority

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Support is dwindling among medical practitioners for the multi-billion pound modernisation of the NHS’ IT systems, a major new study shows.

A survey of doctors by research firm Medix between December and January 2006 found that only one per cent of respondents thought implementation of the NHS' National Programme for IT (NPfIT) had so far been "good" or "excellent".

NpfIT, the largest civilian IT modernisation programme in the world, is expected to cost more than £6bn, and aims to connect 30,000 GPs to 300 hospitals.

However, the Medix survey reveals that widespread support for the programme when it first launched has given way to scepticism.

In a survey three years ago, two-thirds of doctors said the programme was a priority for the NHS, compared to only four-in-10 in the latest poll.

And in the Medix survey, only 13 per cent of GPs and 19 per cent of other doctors said the NPfIT was a good use of NHS resources, compared to 66 per cent and 50 per cent respectively who said it was not.

The survey also raised concerns among doctors over issues of consultation and confidentiality.

Most doctors said they knew fairly little about NPfIT, with 56 per cent claiming to have little or no information about it, including six per cent of respondents for whom the survey was the first they had heard of it. Only one-in-25 doctors said they have had a lot of information on NPfIT - a slight increase on the one per cent three years ago.

And asked whether the advent of the NHS care records service - a central plank of the NPfIT - would mean greater security for patients’ records, 71 per cent of GPs said the information would be less secure. This compares with only one-in-12 respondents who said they would be more secure.

More positively for NHS Connecting for Health (the agency charged with implementing NPfIT), 59 per cent of GPs and 66 per cent of other doctors said the programme would improve clinical care in the long-term.

Responding to the Medix survey, NHS Connecting for Health said its own research, by pollsters Mori, had found staff to be "supportive" of what the programme is trying to achieve.

A spokesman added: "There is usually a dip in confidence in IT change programmes as early implementation gets underway - this is the phase that NHS Connecting for Health is in."

View the survey results here (PDF: 444KB).

View NHS Connecting for Health Response to Medix Survey January 2006 here.

Copyright © 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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.