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NHS standardisation failed, says London CIO

'Pragmatic, rather than dogmatic'

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London's programme for IT has succeeded by dumping the National Programme for IT's standardised model, according to the chief information officer for the capital's health service.

"Without a doubt, we haven't delivered the systems envisaged in 2002," said Kevin Jarrold, chief information officer of NHS London, told the Smart Healthcare Expo in London on 10 June 2008.

The original model had been a single database with the health records of eight million people: "Never been done anywhere in the world, didn't happen in London," Jarrold said.

When IDX was replaced as the main software provider to London, the capital moved to a 'best of breed' approach. Jarrold called this "pragmatic, rather than dogmatic", under which different care record software is used by different types of health organisation.

Jarrold said this has produced success, with the Royal Free Hospital going live with the new LC1 version of Cerner's Millennium software this weekend.

Three acute trusts are using the R0 version of Millennium, with two more using existing installations of the software. Jarrold said he expects that 15 of the 32 acute trusts will be live with suitable software by the end of 2008-09 financial year, along with 29 of 31 primary care trusts, eight of 10 mental health trusts and all GP practices.

"The holistic approach to delivering the single patient record has never been delivered anywhere," Jarrold said, referring to the standardised model still being pursued elsewhere in England. "We decided a pragmatic approach was better than sticking with an approach that may never be delivered."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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