A powerful critic of aspects of the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT] is to join BT Health, one of the main suppliers to the programme. That probably means one less public critic of the NPfIT.
According to E-health Insider Sir Jonathan Michael, chief executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, is to join BT Health this summer.
Michael gave a speech last year that contained some praise for the programme. It also contained some authoritative criticisms.
In his speech to City University Michael said of the NPfIT : “What people have been trying to do is to dictate to a whole series of organisations what they should do, when actually it is not what they want to do.”
He questioned, for example, the wisdom of appointing a small number of suppliers, known as local service providers, to deliver a ruthless standardisation of systems.
Michael said, “From [the trust’s] point of view, the constraints of standardisation are that effectively all other IT investments hitherto become legacy needing to be replaced. You end up having to develop software through a small group of providers, even effectively new software, even though there may be off-the-shelf systems available, but available from somebody else. So where the marketplace already has solutions they are not available to us under Connecting for Health.”