back to article NHS IT juggernaut rumbles on

The major casualty of an overhaul of NHS IT has been revealed. The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) is no more - up to a point. The death of an unwieldy acronym is hard to mourn, but otherwise the coalition's changes to the scheme are marginal. Indeed, if anyone is to suffer as a result of the decision to trim £700m from the …


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So what *measurable* benefits has this delivered?

More cases processed by the same staff?

Waiting times on cancer referrals shortened?

Fewer re-admissions due to complications (with the increased risk of infection and further complications)?

It's a f&*k of a lot of money.

Some of it's benefits *should* be measurable.

Anonymous Coward

Look into the history a bit more

People who are ignorant of the NHS IT history are unaware of what already existed. Much of the national programme is about renewing the old slow and snail mail based systems. Data being sent via snail mail instead of the N3 network which is a private Internet system for the NHS.

Also, some of the systems were re-written due to some service suppliers demanding too much money when changes were required. So existing systems were re-written.

How can you measure improvements without gathering information?



regarding---Christine Connelly, the Department of Health's director general of informatics since 2007, insisted yesterday their multibillion pound contracts will be honoured by taxpayers.

is there no such thing as controlling One's costs?

Or will halifax shareholders take care of my mortgage for me?

I was laid off 3 months ago due to the recession by barclays bank

Paris Hilton

NHS needs a systematic overhaul first

Unfortunately NHS working methods are embedded in 1940's - 1950's UK.

Static populations, preferences given to service providers and contracted partners, ... with little consideration of the great unwashed (a term belonging to the time).

Yet in 21st C UK populations are more dynamic with greater movement and the NHS is still embedded in historical working practices. Any NHS IT procurement will have to uphold those old and out of date practices hence should be delayed until a 21st C NHS takes form.

If the NHS cannot adapt then there is no point in NHS IT procurement going forward with an alternative NHS going forward as a matter of priority. Some things an alternative NHS should/would need to work with (maybe VNHS 21C? = Virgin National Health Service 21st Century?)

+ fee earners forming the operating structure rather than end users

+ income imbalance of fee earners over other staff (say nurses) (Rumour has it that UK doctors earn twice or more than equivalent European nations doctors and nursing staff earn half as much as European equivalents)

+ why be tied to one GP practice (OK in the 1940's - 1950's, not ok in 2010's)

+ why permit administrative boundaries to become effective barriers on continued care? (after all, it is a nationally resourced health service reasonably following a distribution administration model but that admin model has somehow perversely perverted into executive management)

+ I could go on but can't really be bothered...

Conclude: no further non-end user spend in NHS should be authorised until NHS working practices are brought up to date and cater for modern needs OR an alternative national provider is identified with far superior working practices)

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