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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
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
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
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
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?