"You are rebutting a point no-one is making "
No, actually I am rebutting a point that has already been made.
"FOSS has always been "free as in speech not as in beer". All training and migration comes at a price. FOSS come with a zero exit price."
So you agree moving to FOSS would cost money? Good, thanks for that. next?
"Perhaps you could also explain how proprietary software gets to predict the future so accurately?"
(1) People buy the software and then fit their processes around that.
(2) Commercial software manufacturers have to produce what people want, or they won't buy. Central government developers produce to whatever buzzwords their clueless MP masters fine in vogue at any particular time.
(3) Seems to work pretty well at the moment on the prop. model
"That the NHS is in the grip of large poor value consultancies is another problem that has to be solved, and has nothing to do with FOSS."
Ah, I see. You are a FOSS zealot so you saw I had written a reason why FOSS would not be the best solution and your frothing rabidness clouded your ability to read or understand. I get it now. Let me explain: this is not about FOSS, this is about changing the whole NHS IT systems.
"- have you been following NPfIT or have you just turned up?"
Yes I have. Which is another good reason to propose migrating to FOSS would go over budget and get fucked up. Because a much smaller project already has done both of them. In spades.
""If [FOSS based solutions, I presume] was developed centrally it would certainly fail to meet the needs of the PCTs and if developed at each PCT it would cost far more and almost certainly have compatibility problems between different PCTs""
You presume wrong on FOSS - I did not specify what systems are used. Logically speaking internal development would not be FOSS as such - otherwise the change would be to move to FOSS which I covered separately. Try to focus on not being blindly focussed.
"Now, this is definitely one area where you are wrong. No FOSS project has ever developed an unidentifiable API nor included features which serve no other purpose than to defeat interoperability. And "if developed separately" is a false predicate as FOSS is all about collaboration (e.g., have you checked the Linux kernel contributors list recently?)"
OK, where to start? I care not for your APIs, I care for features. Central government would specify features that are unused and omit things that are necessary - this is fairly clear with the current state of government mandated IT projects. Localised development would be completely different as different developers/project managers/consultants would want different shit all of which would be in weird formats and mandatory.
As for your last bit - are you actually reading the same article as me? This is about NHS systems, not about the latest linux kernel. I can't see the armies of FOSS developers out there coding up NHS IT systems for free off their own bat now, can you?
"Buying software is straightforward, simple, easy, supported and costed - for businesses where software development is not a core operation it makes sense to just buy existing products."
Your first statement is definitely true alas it is not a predicate for your conclusion (cf NPfIT)
What conclusion? You can't seriously think it would be a good use of money, resources and the like to rip out the entire NHS IT systems and replace them with FOSS community developed FOSS solutions that generally don't exist and almost certainly never will?