Fresh NHS IT delays27th January 2009
The Public Accounts
Committee has warned that the £12 billion plan to computerise NHS patient records could be delayed.
The project is currently scheduled to be completed in 2015 but has been beset by problems since it began in 2002.
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said that trusts who had started to use the system were not impressesd.
The NHS Programme for IT in England was meant to be finished by 2010 but issues have caused the deadline to be moved back five years.
The system allows the sharing of data in a secure way between hospitals and GP surgeries.
Of the four companies given the task of building the systems for the health service, two have dropped out. Some trusts had to buy "interim" IT systems to cope with new developments, including the "Choose and Book" system.
The chairman of the committee, Edward Leigh MP, said that "serious" risks threatened the completion of the system.
He explained that the new deadline of 2015 "now looks doubtful in the light of the termination last year of Fujitsu's contract covering the South."
"Essential systems are late, or, when deployed, do not meet expectations of clinical staff, estimates of local costs are still very unreliable, and, despite action to secure their commitment, many NHS staff remain unenthusiastic."
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "New IT systems in the NHS are delivering better, safer and faster care."
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Title: Fresh NHS IT delays
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9946
Date Added: 27th Jan 2009