Magazine article Public Finance

NHS to Focus on Getting IT Project Right

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS to Focus on Getting IT Project Right

Article excerpt

Officials in charge of an embattled multibillion pound health service IT project will ignore deadlines for its completion and concentrate on ensuring the new systems work correctly.

A spokeswoman for Connecting for Health, also known as the National Programme for IT, admitted it is now running two and a half years late.

The major programme includes giving all 50 million patients in England an electronic health record that can be accessed anywhere in the country; the use of e-prescriptions; and the Choose and Book system, which allows patients to book hospital appointments when they are referred by their GP.

The total costs of the project are now likely to be almost £20bn, compared with the official figure of £6.2bn.

But the CfH spokeswoman denied that costs had risen, arguing that over the ten years of the programme the £14bn difference in the figures quoted would be little more than the £1bn the NHS currently spends each year on IT. …

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