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back to article We need IT to stop NHS flushing away cash - ex-Health Sec

When the Audit Commission published its review of England's NHS this summer and warned of growing financial pressures, trusts already knew that achieving savings equivalent to about 5 per cent of their budgets each year until 2015 meant doing things differently and more efficiently. Stephen Dorrell, the chair of the health …

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Anonymous Coward

but the real trick is

to flush less money away on the IT.

profit!

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IT Angle

Wow, this is a really good idea!

Maybe we could implement it on a country-wide scale and call it a National Program for IT 2, because the first one worked out really well, didn't it.

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Silver badge

"your SAP system.."

Hey, look everyone, I found where all the NHS IT budget is going!

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A taxi driver in the West Midlands told me....

...that his local hospital is regularly using taxis to deliver surgery cancellation letters to patients.

One wonders whether there might be some sort of high-tech low-latency alternative involving the transmission of voice data over a distance.

Apparently there is also the practice where both patient and patient record are transmitted from one hospital to the other, at the same time, using two different taxis, because the patient is not allowed to carry their own record.

There are good reasons for this apparent nonsense, right?

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Gold badge

I imagine that due to the risk of litigation that they have to deliver a written cancellation as soon as possible.

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Anonymous Coward

This actually looks like something that makes sense.

With all the talk of putting GPs in charge, my experience of how my local GP practice is handling prescriptions suggests that fixing the problems is going the be screwed up by that change.

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There's your problem ...

"you have got to integrate what you are doing with your internal systems, so your Oracle accounting system, your SAP system. There's a lot of internal integration and interoperability required"

... right there.

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Coat

It'll can be implemented and work well

So long as you keep FujHPSercAtos out of the pork barrell.

barcodem scanner? £25,000 each plus £10,000 per year support.

Keyboard? £50,000 plus £200,000 per year support

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Silver badge

'ang on a minute.

Businesses started using computers to control accounts and purchasing and stock level between the 1960s and 1980s. Is Dorrel saying that of all that money spent on NHS IT over decades and decades none of it went to the simplest, longest established, best understood use of computers?

And wasn't he in charge of it?

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waste

Frimley Park hospital in surrey does MRI's and x-rays relativeky quickly however other hospitals and even local neurologists request repeats as the quality is so low as to be useless. A friend had to have the MRI redone at charing cross - the results were so different that CC contacted FP to confirm that the results were not for another patient. IT does nothing to stop this sort of gratuitous waste.

Another bis issue is the practise of destroying any documents over five years old. Pauls MRI scans had been destroyed even though they were less than five years old. His Neuro went apeshit... It would make far more sense to *give* the "long term" records to patients such as Paul. Instead FP charges 20UKP for a blurred CD digital image of each MRI or Xray image.

Finally hospitals use very expensive secure disposal services for patient data. SImply giving "expired" notes to patients would eliminate this expense.

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Anonymous Coward

They need some sanity in overall big bucks programmes

Everywhere I look you see these nupties sign big contracts with stupid clauses, instead of first developing a best of the best framework with standards that will support a mixture of vendors. The moment you enable competition instead "gimme everything and I'll bung you a bundle" single vendor contracts, you not only drop your overall costs, but you also open the market for new providers that could take fresh ideas and technology where it can do the most good.

But hey, for some people that would mean less budget to manage, and maybe fewer holidays. Can't have that now, can we?

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Stop

I've seen the waste first hand from the back of an NHS project. I was tasked with rolling out and installing quite a large number of IBM racks (which was always delivered on time by IBM).

I met my deadlines and racked the systems then placed them in the correct locations within each DC (all the DC's are in London I might add).

I also installed all the OS's on each of the systems.

I then found out that some of the racked systems where being removed and shipped to Scotland (yes that's correct, Scotland!) just to have Linux and Sendmail installed onto them.

It could have all been completed remotely........or better yet, I could have performed the installs.

Such a waste of time :/

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Flame

You forgot one name on the list of IT troughers...

...CSC

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Bronze badge
Linux

and the winner is....

It would seem that the NHS is big enough to have its own bespoke system - a move to a provably open source framework, would be a first step. Not paying enormous consultants for the "wintel solution of the day" is probably a first step....

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Surely

Surely the answer is to give the IT contract to Tesco? They did all this work over 30 years ago.

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