NPfIT to be axed22nd September 2011
The government looks set to announce that the board running an £11bn IT project for the NHS is to be scrapped.
A review of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) has decided there is no confidence its plans will be delivered, prompting ministers to take a decision which will now leave hospitals free to choose their own computer systems.
NPfIT was established in 2002 with a vision to link all parts of the NHS in England but it was dogged by delays and soaring costs.
Some elements of the scheme – which was reconfigured last year – will remain such as the appointment service and email system but the decision looks set to end the nationally-imposed programme.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is expected to label “Labour’s IT programme” as wasting taxpayers’ money on a system which did not fit the needs of the NHS.
“We will be moving to an innovative new system driven by local decision-making,” he said.
“This is the only way to make sure we get value for money from IT systems that better meet the needs of a modernised NHS.”
NPfIT came under criticism from the Commons public accounts committee earlier this summer which said it was "no longer delivering a universal system".
It said the original objective was to ensure every NHS patient had an individual electronic care record which could be rapidly transmitted between different parts of the NHS.
But its report concluded: “This intention has proved beyond the capacity of the department to deliver and the department is no longer delivering a universal system.”
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