Feeds

Ministers kill off failed £12.7bn NHS IT revamp

Doomed project's costs doubled

SANS - Survey on application security programs

GPs and hospitals have been told to look locally for IT help as the government finally spikes a £12.7bn nationwide NHS computer system.

The failed project intended to store everybody's records, institute a national email system for the NHS and make X-rays and prescriptions available electronically. It was touted as the world's biggest civil information technology programme.

But a report from the Cabinet Office's Major Projects Authority has brought the axe down on the mammoth IT project, which has been riddled by screw-ups since its launch in 2002.

It has cost more than double the £6.2bn that was originally set aside for it, and ministers now believe that it will never be able to deliver its goals.

The project foundered on its core principle of centralisation, said the Department of Health in a statement: "It is no longer appropriate for a centralised authority to make decisions on behalf of local organisations. We need to move on from a top down approach and instead provide information systems driven by local decision-making."

Not all of the techie achievements of the project have been lost: key features that are now in use include Spine – which stores patients' care records, the N3 Network – offering a broadband network to health workers; and NHSmail – a unified, secure email system for the whole service.

Other pieces of tech salvaged from the wreckage include: Choose and Book, an appointment booking service, Secondary Uses Service and Picture Archiving and Communications Service – which allows for the transfer of X-ray pictures.

Though the break-up of the old contracts has been expensive, it could open up opportunities for small British IT companies. The government has urged hospitals and GPs to find their own IT projects locally.

Head IT honcho at the NHS, Katie Davis, says she wants to achieve a "vibrant marketplace for healthcare IT".

To provide just such a thing, the NHS has partnered up with Intellect, The Technology Trade Association – a group representing 800 tech companies including small enterprises as well as multinationals.

Arguably smaller projects could result in better project management.

"We are looking at how the NHS can best understand what our industry has to offer them" the healthcare programme manager at Intellect, John Lindberg said to The Reg. He described the service they provide to the NHS as "almost like a catalogue."

Of the 800 companies Intellect represents, 260 specialise in IT for healthcare, and the bulk of them – 200 – are SMEs.

Lindberg described healthcare IT as good area for start-ups because it requires lots of specialist solutions. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.