Re: How much is this going to cost?
PCTs don't exist any more, CCGs have no control over anyone; they're just purchasing groups, they don't run any services (most of them are just rebranded PCTs with the management/accountability roles removed). Hospitals exist as independent foundation trusts and primary care providers are also now independent, devolved to fragmented care trusts or privatised by Virgin et al.
The body you'd want to do this kind of job was the Strategic Health Authority, supra-regional bodies intended to allow trusts to work together, particularly on public health management and big capital expenditures, and to provide a point of accountability between the trusts and the DoH.
You probably won't be surprised to discover this evil fountain of red tape, hobbling our glorious private healthcare industry, has also been absolished.
Simply put, Lansley might want all patient records digitised and cloudified by 2015, but he has no way of doing it. Hell, if he'd had his way the H&SCB would have even removed his ability to issue such a directive; only through the lords rebellion was the health secretary's role as guarantor, supervisor + director of the nhs maintained - he wanted it all passed to Monitor.
So, you've got this mish-mash of private providers doing NHS work, NHS care trusts, of GPs and of independent foundation hospitals, with no supervisory or even cooperation mechanism between them. This will destroy the NHS's efficiency (and it is supremely efficient) in the long term (you'll see this when the NHS needs to start replacing MRI scanners en masse in a year or two), but immediately speaking in this case, there's just no way to get everyone to buy into this.
Even assuming Lansley did, somehow, get every health provider in the country (because remember there's no difference between the NHS providers and private ones now, cheers Andy) on board with this, they've all been using disparate, independently contracted IT and records systems for going on 15 or 20 years now. They're all proprietary and locked down. It would cost an absolute fortune to try and convert all of that to some common format for unified storage. It just isn't doable with the current NHS structure (or lack thereof) and the current health secretary.