Re: How many lives
Plenty of lives were saved by this project, if it had made it to full fruition then many many more would have followed. The problem here was not the product but it's deployment realisation and continued interference from the Government which led to cost and corner cutting of the highest order while still trying to please everyone.
Hospitals which managed to implement a full solution (and anyone that is unenlightened enough to think that a central record is all that this was about, like the author of this poor excuse for journalism, should fuck off and stop making comments until they properly understand the processes in place, or head over to the daily mails' forums) saw waiting lists plummet, responder save rates rocket, cost reductions for baseline services and diagnosis scales well reduced.
Yes it went tits up in a very big way, I am not defending how this was done or the budget spent, but the goals set and achievements made cannot and should not ignored. Simply calling it a waste of time / budget squandering / of no benefit, etc, all off the back of hysteria whipping journalism, such as this, does not do credit to the reform they DID manage to get in place.
Or would you rather we continued wandering about with bits of paper and carrying x-rays beween wards, posting medical records between facilities for those people admitted to A&E when involved in accidents out side of their PCT?