Magazine article Public Finance

IT Experts Tell MPs of Their Doubts about NHS Project

Magazine article Public Finance

IT Experts Tell MPs of Their Doubts about NHS Project

Article excerpt

The Department of Health has dismissed claims that a E6bn IT project is technologically unsound.

The Connecting for Health initiative, also known as the National Programme for IT, came under renewed pressure this week as academics called for an independent review of the project in a letter to the Commons health select committee.

A National Audit Office report is due in the summer but the letter claimed this would not examine the scheme's technical viability.

The Initiative covers a number of IT projects, including electronic patient records, e-prescriptions and on-line appointment booking. The letter warned that the NHS required 24-hour, secure access to this information, which could put severe demands on the IT infrastructure being put in place.

It added: 'Concrete, objective information about the National Programme's progress is not available to external observers. …

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