Feeds

Fujitsu man condemns NPfIT as failure

A camel among racehorses

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The government's pet technology project, the multi-billion pound NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), is in danger of failing, lacks the leadership required to stop it drifting off course, and is in danger of morphing into "a camel", according to a senior figure in one of the main contractors implementing the project.

Computer Weekly reports that Andrew Rollerson, a senior healthcare consultant at Fujitsu went on the attack as he delivered a speech to delegates at a conference last week.

"It isn't working, and it isn't going to work," Rollerson is reported to have said. "There is a belief that the national programme is somehow going to propel transformation in the NHS simply by delivering an IT system. Nothing could be further from the truth. A vacuum, a chasm, is opening up."

The project has come under fire from independent computer experts, civil liberties campaigners, and GPs, particularly over plans to develop a centralised database of medical records. Bloated and likely to go billions of pounds over budget, the project has not made good press material for ministers at the Department of Health.

But Fujitsu recently won a £896m contract to deliver the NPfIT to the south of England. Quite astonishing, then, that a senior executive at the company should launch such a damning attack.

The magazine says he went on to warn that despite efforts by firms involved in the project to produce "a racehorse", there is a risk that the end result will be "a camel". He is also said to have illustrated his presentation with images of sinking ships, and people walking on tightropes - all rather grim imagery for a project the government still maintains will transform the NHS.

One slide is headed: "There are never any roadsigns to your destination when you are heading directly away from it", and warns that the whole project is in danger of turning into a mere IT upgrade.

Rollerson described the process as a "gradual coming apart of what we are doing on the ground because we are desperate to get something in and make it work, versus what the programme really ought to be trying to achieve".

He says that despite its enormous size, the NPfIT is being managed as though it is a small IT project, because that is what people are used to.

Fujitsu, clearly mindful of its £896m contract, says Rollerson's remarks have been misinterpreted. Pushing the English language almost to breaking point, a spokesman for the company said he wanted to "refute any inference...that Fujitsu in anyway questions the success of the National Programme".

The government issued a statement saying it would press on with the project, and that David Nicholson (head of the NHS) "sees this as one of his key strategic priorities as it is key to the successful delivery of patient centred care". ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.