back to article Outlook bleak for NHS IT

The NHS's National Programme for IT - supposedly the world's largest civilian technology project - is looking increasingly unwell. But now, with weeks until the general election, the NHS and its suppliers are desperate to score some victories. Pressure is mounting on Morecambe Bay - which is meant to be the first place to pilot …

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FAIL

Difference

Learn the difference between NPFiT and SCR, there is one.

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FAIL

Learn the difference yourself.

Learn the difference between NPFiT and NPfIT. The second is correct. It's a small 'f'. Surely you're not telling me all that money spent on branding was wasted.

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WTF?

patients get to benefit from our investment in health care technology

What utter, utter bollocks.

Patients are the *last* ones to benefit.

I invite El Reg readers to compile a list of *who* actually does benefit.... Starting with:

1) Trough snouting IT "consultants"

2)...

3)...

PS: "We continue to review cost reductions to ensure that the savings obtained are commensurate with the reductions in scope and delivery profile." - WTF does that really translate to?

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FAIL

Green eyed monster

" 1) Trough snouting IT "consultants" "

Your day rate not as impressive, eh ? 'Course you'd totally turn it down on principle if you had the opportunity.

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Yep, I'd "totally turn it down"

Though it wouldn't be solely on principle.

PS: Totally rad use of English, dude.

Can we have a new "Prawn" icon please?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm a doctor, not a computer consultant

It's worse than that, he's dead Jim!

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Anonymous Coward

Difference 2

Learn the difference between effective IT and funny-handshake-jobs-for-the-IT-dyslexic. There are many.

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FAIL

Agree

Unfortunately, some of the trough snouting, Armani suited, IT "consultants", to whom the production of a Powerpoint presentation is a *major* achievement, also read & comment here.

Heh, it's just made me recall the solution offered, back in the mid-late 90's, to the problem of a subscription based website that was wildly more successful than originally projected, instead of adding to the farm, increasing bw or both, was, on the advice of a "consultant", to add another layer of hardware _to report the latency of connections from over the pond & Oz_ Sublime.

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FAIL

grrrr

this project is a waste of bandwidth, especially when there is at least one company out there who can already do everything required of the program!

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Pint

Big .gov IT projects doomed

What a surprise that big all encompassing .gov.uk IT projects don't work.

What they should be doing is making a small group working on standards and interoperability. Then as long as everything can 'talk' to each other let the trusts do their own thing.

But I suppose that wouldn't be as headline grabbing and everyone in gov seems to crave the very very expensive advertising.

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Who?

>> 1) Trough snouting IT "consultants"

That would be us then :)

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FAIL

Some NHS un-Trust worthy IT Dept's...

SHOULD FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD BE PUT DOWN!!!

its already happened to at least 3 of them...

More to follow...

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Grenade

Us IT Consultants Rule

I like my Snout in the trough thanks very much

Now if I could just up my hourly rate from £40 to £100 then I'd be laughing

Anon just incase some other consultants I work with read this (They only get £20 an Hour)

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Flame

You are not in IT then

An experienced NHS IT support technician gets more than half that - when they are called out during a bank holiday!

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how much money has been flushed down the crapper?

.... while people are actually ill and dying

Oh, and the money came from taxpayers not found under some mystical rainbow

where the f--k is the outrage that should accompany this? the serious papers up in arms and the TV exposes?

Why not just hand the whole patient records thing off to Microsoft Health Vault and pay a fraction of that to deploy and spend some real money on nurses?

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I think they mean

"We continue to review cost reductions to ensure that the savings obtained are commensurate with the reductions in scope and delivery profile."

Since we're getting less for our money, we will be paying less.

(Or not, as the case may be.)

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WTF?

what's really going on

@Neil

"PS: "We continue to review cost reductions to ensure that the savings obtained are commensurate with the reductions in scope and delivery profile." - WTF does that really translate to?"

We're in the shit, better manipulate the PR and supplier negotiations so the PAC doesn't haul us over the coals toooo much for wasting so much public money.

@Anonymous

"What they should be doing is making a small group working on standards and interoperability. Then as long as everything can 'talk' to each other let the trusts do their own thing."

Like what was happening before the rip-and-replace brigade came in.

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FAIL

Morecambe Bay...

...go live has been put back a week now until, ahem, Easter Weekend!

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Anonymous Coward

Trough Snouting

Well I was one. Hands on, not fluffy brained besuited halfwit*.

And the f'king project nearly did for me. 24/7 shifts to try and make something work that had been kicked around like a dead puppy for the preceding months.

The rates were slightly above market rates, but I took it for the security (hahahahaaha!)

I laugh, cos when it was done I had to take over a month off work to get my brain back together.

So, while these big companies do very nicely thank you out of the NHS screw up, the IT folk at the sharp end (as is always the case) suffer.

*Apparently the fluffy brained, bullying, fuckwit in charge of this project trousered a 6 figure bonus. Despite contributing precisely fuck all except FUD and misery. Bitter much ? You bet.

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Zap

I Changed my view

I was dead against this programme when it first came out, I have experienced first hand the mistakes made, however, my opinion has changed.

There is no doubt that CfH could have done a better job at involving Trust IT staff and Clinicians but at the same time some of these staff have deliberately tried to make it fail. The fact is that many Trusts employ complete donkeys who have no proper IT knowledge and are worried about being "discovered".

Speaking as a patient I had a chance to use Choose and Book, I was able to be told the lead times by my GP (60 days for initial consult with my local hospital VS 7 days for the next county and surgery within 14 days). I took the hospital with the better lead time and was pleased with that decision.

Comparing two of my patient experiences for an MRI in the same hospital was interesting, for the first one I was kept waiting for 1h 40m then it took an hour to carry out. For the second I was seen within a minute of arriving and out within 20m. I asked what had changed and they said the computer system which was part of the CfH programme.

I had a similar experience for a hearing test, see very quickly and whole dept improved, again I asked and they blamed the system. This is in a hospital that was poorly rated and had no money. The fact is without CfH the Trust would not have the money to fund new IT systems.

I still think CfH have a lot of work to do and I would change some aspects of how the programme is delivered and how the software is developed (think SCRUM with Trust Clinicians) but overall I think it would be wrong to scrap it.

If the programme is scrapped different NHS trusts will do their own thing, those that can afford it buy incompatible and incapable systems (after a year of writing a tender), costs will increase and service to patients and clinicians will suffer.

The software suppliers will be quids in as they will be able to make the Trusts pay more.

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FAIL

NHS do good things sometimes

Well... I'm very much of the opinion that what the NHS has already achieved IT-wise works remarkably well. Many things, such as Choose and Book and Summary Care Records seem to be going swimmingly, as well as the PACS (digital X-Rays to Joe Public) data sharing. All the applications are built around security (managed through smart cards, and the number of hoops needed to jump through to get access to more systems makes it damn near impossible to get into anything you shouldn't!) and so very little that CfH brings out worries me at all.

That said, you do tend to get some major wastes of time, effort and cash. As a private hospital we take NHS patients as part of NHS England's drive to reduce waiting lists (yes, you pay your NI for some patients to go private for free). We've recently been told that the Choose and Book website service (through which we receive relevant patient notes) is migrating away from the Java application (handles smart card authentication) to.. ACTIVEX!! We're going to have *great* fun when this goes live, especially as it means we start having PCs which are able to run ActiveX left, right and centre...

Anon, because the independent sector is remarkably small!

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Baby and bath water

It sounds from the 2 posts at 23rd March 15:42 and 23rd March 23:11 as if there are some "good things" coming out now from the investment made.

It would be madness to scrap it all now for political or short term economic reasons. By all means ditch the dirty bath water but please keep the babies - they took a long and expensive time to conceive.

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FAIL

Early success...

The early success was the ability to transfer some pictures? Good god.

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