UK Liberty

Report on The National Programme for IT in the NHS

Posted in Uncategorized by ukliberty on April 17, 2007

A bit off-topic for this blog – although I do have a page on ‘government IT gone wrong‘ – but a couple of the papers (e.g. the Telegraph) have articles on the publication of the Public Accounts Committee’s report on The National Programme for IT in the NHS.

Key conclusions and recommendations:

  1. The delivery of the patient clinical record, which is central to obtaining the benefits of the programme, is already two years behind schedule and no firm implementation dates exist.
  2. The Department has not sought to maintain a detailed record of overall expenditure on the Programme and estimates of its total cost have ranged from £6.2 billion up to £20 billion. [blank cheque syndrome again – ukliberty]
  3. The Department’s investment appraisal of the Programme did not seek to demonstrate that its financial benefits outweighed its cost. [surely that should form part of a cost-benefit analysis? – ukliberty]
  4. The Department is maintaining pressure on suppliers but there is a shortage of appropriate and skilled capacity to deliver the systems required by the Programme, and the withdrawal of Accenture has increased the burden on other suppliers, especially CSC.
  5. The Department needs to improve the way it communicates with NHS staff, especially clinicians.
  6. We are concerned that leadership of the Programme has focused too narrowly on the delivery of the IT systems, at the expense of proper consideration of how best to use IT within a broader process of business change.
  7. The Department should clarify responsibility and accountability for the local implementation of the Programme.
  8. The use of only two major software suppliers may have the effect of inhibiting innovation, progress and competition.
  9. At the present rate of progress it is unlikely that significant clinical benefits will be delivered by the end of the contract period.

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