Feeds

Outlook bleak for NHS IT

There's nothing more we can do

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The NHS's National Programme for IT - supposedly the world's largest civilian technology project - is looking increasingly unwell.

But now, with weeks until the general election, the NHS and its suppliers are desperate to score some victories.

Pressure is mounting on Morecambe Bay - which is meant to be the first place to pilot iSoft's Lorenzo patient management system. iSoft insisted earlier this month that it is still on track to go live by the end of the month.

Parts of the NPfIT have worked - digital transmission of X-rays was an early success.

But the £12.7bn project has struggled in many other ways - the government was forced to bail out central supplier software firm iSoft with millions of pounds of pre-payments. Four ex-directors of iSoft have been charged with criminal offences by the FSA. iSoft was itself taken over by IBA Health in 2007.

Doctors objected to the assumed consent model used for summary care records. The Public Accounts Committee recommended a rethink, and Richard Granger, the man in charge and Britain's best-paid civil servant, quit his post early.

Connecting for Health - the bit of government supposedly running the project - has previously claimed press were the biggest danger to the successs of the programme.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are continuing to work with the NHS at local level to ensure that the things clinicians have told us are most important to them get delivered. By focusing on these priority areas, we will ensure that patients get to benefit from our investment in health care technology whilst at the same time ensuring that the savings announced by the Secretary of State are achieved.

"We continue to review cost reductions to ensure that the savings obtained are commensurate with the reductions in scope and delivery profile."

The fate of the mega-project will likely be decided in the next few weeks. Whoever wins the upcoming election will be looking for any possible ways to cut UK expenditure and unpopular, expensive technology projects will be tempting targets.

But the most likely immediate result of cancelling any government IT project will be hordes of IT vendors running to their lawyers to find out how big a penalty payment they can extract from the relevant government department. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.