Dell begs ToryDems to keep NHS IT project
Please sir, don't take my pork barrel away
Dell is urging the coalition government not to cut the world's most expensive civilian IT project - the NHS's National Programme for IT.
Parts of the £12.7bn scheme are in the firing line for cuts, not just because of the absurd cost but also because of its unpopularity with doctors and patients.
Harry Greenspun, Dell's "chief medical officer", warned PublicTechnology.net there was a danger the baby was being thrown out with the bath water. He said there was a need to make the technology easier to use and manage, but there were still benefits to be had from increasing computer use in the health service.
But a new health minister, Simon Burns, has been given responsibility for the over-budget project.
Doctors are losing faith in summary care records in particular. The Local Medical Committee has proposed several motions, which if passed will go on to the British Medical Association conference in the summer.
The major complaint is that the Summary Care Record scheme was pushed out across the country before any evaluation of the trials was undertaken. Also controversial was the decision to make people opt out of the service.
One motion says simply: "That conference deplores the way the SCR is being rolled out."
They also call for a proper evaluation of the medico-legal implications of records containing wrong information - doctors have previously said that they do not trust SCRs enough to rely on them for patient data.
The BMA said in March that the roll-out should be stopped.
The SCR seems a likely candidate for cuts, because only a few hundred practises have started uploading records but people have heard of it, so there will be a political benefit to canning it. The bigger question is whether the amputation of SCR is enough to save the rest of the project.
When the NPfIT launched we were promised it would be different to other government IT projects. We were assured there would be one responsible owner; there isn't. Richard Granger quit in 2007.
We were told there would be lots of competing suppliers; there aren't. iSoft needed a government bail-out and Fujitsu and Accenture both decided to walk away. ®
kill it with fire and let a small group of real IT architects have a go
These big firms full of inexperienced monkeys seem to fluff all the IT gov projects and give IT a bad name.
If they're going to go ahead with more SME IT firms doing gov contracts, then at least they'll have a chance of getting some quality instead of being milked for every penny.
Also gov contracts should be fixed fee with deadlines and penalties... none of this bottomless cash pot that they get away with now.
Re: All in the Name
I see what you did there.
Standardisation is in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis'. (With apols to Swells)
ID Card project creep being made ready.
The proposed system would only be effective if we all carried some form of ID around with us at all times that could be used to match a person to a record in the database.
Now.... I wonder what form of ID would possibly have been promoted as a solution for this under the New Labour Government, hmmmmm let me think.
The whole project was just part of the agenda driven "project creep" infrastructure being prepared for us.