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Govt persuades two people to share worst job in IT

NHS poison pill shared out

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The government has found two people to run the struggling NHS IT programme - the National Programme for IT.

The world's largest non-military technology project has been without a permanent boss since the departure of Richard Granger in January. Interim boss Matthew Swindells left the post in April. NPfIT is expected to cost at least £12.7bn and is already running late. Granger described the job as "quite simply relentless"

Christine Connelly, a consultant who was previously CIO at Cadbury Schweppes, becomes CIO for Health, dealing with strategy, and Martin Bellamy will be the Director of Programme and System Delivery. Bellamy has been at the Department of Work and Pensions since 2003.

The troubled project is already running late and over budget. It lost a key contractor in May when Fujitsu decided to withdraw, leaving only BT, CSC and iSoft bidding for the patient records part of the contract.

Summary care records are not now expected to roll out until 2014 or 2015. This part of the project was meant to go live in 2010. Part of the project depends on iSoft's Lorenzo software, currently being tested ahead of rolling out in the north of England in autumn. ®

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