Feeds

NHS IT dino-project NPfIT should be killed off - NAO

Damning report blasts all concerned

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The National Programme for IT - the multi-billion pound contract to update NHS technology use - continues to show an absence of basic management, and even though the scope of the project is shrinking costs are not.

Today's report from the National Audit Office is damning even for the NAO and questions whether there is any point in continuing the £11.4bn scheme.

It starts with the good(ish) news - £2bn spent on a broadband network and X-ray exchange is mostly now working.

But on patient records the picture is less good.

The NAO said:

The rate at which electronic care records systems are being put in place across the NHS under the National Programme for IT is falling far below expectations and the core aim that every patient should have an electronic care record under the Programme will not now be achieved.

Auditors noted that even where programmes have been delivered they're not fulfilling all the functions promised. And even though the number of systems has been significantly reduced there has not been a similar cut in costs.

They state simply:

The £2.7 billion spent so far on care records systems does not represent value for money. And, based on performance so far, the NAO has no grounds for confidence that the remaining planned spending of £4.3 billion on care records systems will be any different.

Much of this criticism of course has been heard before during the life of the much-delayed project.

More damning is the NAO accusation that unclear information about the success or failure of key objectives.

In Whitehall-mannered words the auditors said:

Our findings are presented in the context of a lack of clarity between the Department and its suppliers about basic management information. In some cases we have been unable to reconcile the discrepancies we have identified. For example, information we received from the suppliers on Friday 13 May does not reconcile with information provided by the Department the previous day. The Department was unable to provide clarification to reconcile the discrepancies by the time this report was submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General for publication on Monday 16 May.

Looking forward the NAO is also concerned that much of the management structure supposedly running the project will have been closed by the coalition government before the contracts end.

It asks: "Who will manage the existing contracts up to July 2016, who will measure and report on the benefits of the Programme?"

Connecting for Health, the quango which was meant to be managing the project, sent us the following:

Improving information technology is a fundamental part of delivering a modern, world-class health service.  This report from the NAO highlights major concerns with the pace and scale of delivery of information systems under the National Programme for IT.  We agree change is needed and that the original vision was flawed.  This is why last year we announced a move away from a centralised, national approach to IT to localised responsibility and decision making.  However we do think the investment made so far in the NPfIT will potentially deliver value for money now that we have a more flexible approach that allows the local NHS to be in charge of its own requirements.

The NAO report on the National Programme for IT in the NHS is here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.