Could too much questioning inhibit Progress? - Health Committee chairman

Loyalist Labour MP Kevin Barron, who is chairing an inquiry of the House of Commons’ Health Committee into aspects of the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT], has warned that too much questioning may harm scientific Progress.

Barron set out his views at the first of a series of hearings of the Health Committee into aspects of the NPfIT. MPs including Barron asked some witnesses whether they were in favour of an independent review of the NPfIT.

Barron’s own comments suggested he was not in favour of too much questioning of the NPfIT.

He said: “If you go back in years in medical history, into some of the things that doctors were doing at the time, which made major breakthroughs, people were sceptical about [these]. People were questioning even what their peer groups were doing in terms of whether it was the right thing to do.”

He said that that life expectancy has been extended to an “incredible” extent largely because of the “people doing things for the first time.” In what seemed to be a criticism of 23 academics who have called for an independent review of the NPfIT Barron added: “Quite frankly if people were questioning [medical breakthroughs in history] on the basis of ‘we don’t think it will work’ or ‘it might not be manageable’ and everything else, we may not have made the progress through the centuries that we have done, in society in general and throughout the world. This sort of questioning every little minutiae, or potential every little minutiae, is something that is non-progressive, for what of a better expression.”