The National Programme for IT in the NHS: an Update on the Delivery of Detailed Care Records Systems
HC 1070, Forty-fifth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The National Programme for IT in the National Health Service (NHS) is an ambitious £11.4 billion programme of investment. This report, 'The National Programme for IT in the NHS: an Update on the Delivery of Detailed Care Records Systems (HC 1070)' is concerned with a central part of the Programme, where the aim was to create a fully integrated electronic care records system, which is expected to cost around £7 billion in total.
The Department of Health has failed to demonstrate the benefits achieved for the £2.7 billion spent to date on care records systems and has accepted it is unable to deliver its original vision. It is now relying on individual NHS trusts to develop systems compatible with those in the Programme. Furthermore the Department could not explain how potential inconsistencies would be dealt with or what it will cost local NHS organisations to connect up.
The Department has not got the best out of its suppliers, despite having paid them some £1.8 billion so far:
One supplier, the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), has yet to deliver the bulk of the systems it is contracted to supply and has instead implemented a large number of interim systems as a stopgap. The Department has been in negotiations with CSC for over a year, but conceded that it may be more expensive to terminate the contract than to complete it.
The Department has also revised its contract with British Telecom (BT), reducing the number of systems and increasing the price for each system delivered. This has resulted in BT being paid £9 million to implement systems at each NHS site, even though the same systems have been purchased for under £2 million by NHS organisations outside the Programme.
The Committee is further concerned about the problems in getting timely and reliable information from the Department. Information provided has frequently been late, has contained inconsistencies and has contradicted other evidence.
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