NHS IT trust staff face up to the challenges

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NHS IT trust staff face up to the challenges

Tony Collins
A series of high-profile speakers at the Autumn Forum health IT conference strongly supported the aims of the programme.

John Thornbury, head of informatics at Walsall teaching primary care trust, spoke of the benefits of the plan but warned of a possible shortage of staff.

"Currently we are losing a lot of people to some of the local service providers, which is causing us particular problems," he said.

Andrew Haw, director of ICT and electronic patient records at the university hospital Birmingham NHS foundation trust, said his department is responsible for about 300 IT-related applications. Only eight of these are directly affected by the national plan.

Haw's comments showed that the £1bn non-national programme IT spending in the NHS, much of which is spent on the staff who support existing systems, cannot be easily diverted into helping to pay for the national programme.

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