Feeds

NPfIT condemned in MPs' scathing report

NHS IT - overbudget, overdue and over here

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a damning report into the NHS's overdue and over budget National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

The group of MPs conclude that the system is late, suppliers are struggling to deliver, medical staff are sceptical of the entire project, and there is still no clear idea of how much it will cost.

The stakes are high, the PAC MPs write. If the programme works, it'll revolutionise the system and improve things for all of us. But if it fails, we'll be paying for it in more ways than one for years to come: as well as taxpayers being hit by the massive bill of at least £12bn, dealing with the fall out of failure system will divert resources from the NHS frontline.

Committee of Public Accounts chairman MP Edward Leigh MP said: "Urgent remedial action is needed at the highest level if the long-term interests of NHS patients and taxpayers are to be protected.

"The programme is not looking good. The electronic patient clinical record, which is central to the project, is already running two years late. The suppliers are struggling to deliver. Scepticism is rife among the NHS clinicians whose commitment to the programme is essential to its success. And, four years down the line, the costs and benefits for the local NHS are unclear."

The report calls for an urgent audit of the three main contractors, CSC, Fujitsu, and BT. The MPs want to see details of which contractual milestones have been met, which have been missed, how much cash has already been paid out, and what has actually been improved.

But the government says the MPs are basing their findings on a report from the National Audit Office that is a year old. Health Minister Lord Hunt said substantial progress has been made since the NAO report. X-rays can now be taken electronically, and electronic prescriptions are also available, he said.

But Leigh argued that the time for talking is over: "If dissident clinicians are to be persuaded, they will have to see the advanced electronic patient record systems up and running. And if these systems cannot be delivered within the framework of the programme, the local NHS should be given greater freedom to look for alternative systems which do work."

Richard Bacon, PAC member and Conservative MP for South Norfolk went even further, calling for Connecting for Health, the agency in charge of implementing NPfIT, to be scrapped. He called it "a nightmare organisation", according to reports, and said we would be better off without it.

His colleague and shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien, said the problems began when doctors and nurses were not consulted properly at the planning stages. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'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
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.