NPfIT "proving a danger to patients" - Channel 4 film

“[The NPfIT] shows over-confidence in the myth of the superiority of IT and I think government suffers from this in many departments in many areas”- Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. 



Jane Moore, the presenter of a Dispatches documentary on waste in government on Monday evening, said the NHS IT scheme is soaking up money, there is little to show for it and it is “proving a danger to some patients“.

The broadcast included a clip from a Department of Health DVD on the NPfIT which said: “One day, not too far away, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.”

I wonder whether patients will live with the system, given the cancelled surgical procedures and missed urgent cancer appointments. That’s a question for the Department of Health, CfH and Strategic Health Authorities, BT and the LPfIT who, despite the seriousness of the problems at Barts, the Royal Free and Barnet and Chase, are to resume a rollout of the Cerner Millennium system in the London area.

Comments of some of the interviewees in the Dispatches film:


leslie willcocks.jpgLeslie Willcocks Professor of Technology Work and Globalisation at the LSE: “[The Department of Health] were afraid there would be huge delays and they would never deliver anything. So they were very aggressive in their approach to getting contracts let quickly. Some suppliers had about three weeks to respond a request for proposal or tender.”

Edward Leigh, chairman of the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee, said the NPfIT has yet to deliver.  “It’s going very slowly it will be rolled out in some shape or form but nothing like what they originally envisaged …”It shows over-confidence in the myth of the superiority of IT and I think government suffers from this in many departments in many areas.” 

All this is dismissed by the government ministers whose job includes giving thanks for the NPfIT, even the thoughtful Stephen Timms, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who used to work for Logica and Ovum. There’s a separate post on what Timms told Dispatches.   


Dispatches website – Channel 4

Skeletons in the cupboard – Anna Raccoon

Innovative in-vehicle patient information system – IT reseller

NPfIT costs include £3m on hotels and business travel – Computer Weekly website

Computer Weekly contributes to Dispatches documentary – IT Projects blog Sept 2007  

C4 film tonight looks at the NPfIT – IT Projects blog

Project management truisms – Phil Benton

NPfIT – lessons for the US – Dr Richard Cook

NPfIT – revolution or failure?