NPfIT risks heightened says chairman of public accounts MPs

Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said in a statement on his committee’s report on the NHS’s National Programme for IT:

“The risks to the successful delivery of the National Programme for IT are as serious as ever. Essential systems are late or, when deployed, do not meet expectations of clinical staff; estimates of local costs are still very unreliable; and, despite action to secure their commitment, many NHS staff remain unenthusiastic.

“It is also worrying that, if Trusts decide not to deploy the patient care records systems, the taxpayer can still be obliged to make payments to the suppliers concerned.

“The original aim was for the systems to be fully implemented by 2010. The truth is that, while some are complete or well advanced, the major ones such as the care records systems are way off the pace. Even the revised completion date of 2014-15 for these systems now looks doubtful in the light of the termination last year of Fujitsu’s contract covering the South.

“By the end of 2008, the Lorenzo care records software for the North, Midlands and East had not gone live throughout a single Acute Trust.

“The risks to this massive health information technology project, the biggest in history, have been heightened by the departure from the Programme of two out of the original four Local Service Providers. The Department of Health must determine what this means for the strength of its negotiating position and whether the remaining two suppliers can continue to meet their substantial commitments.

“Trusts should not be expected to deploy care records systems that aren’t working properly. If there is no improvement to this situation within six months, then the Department should consider allowing Trusts to apply for funding for alternative systems.”


Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the NPfIT – 27 January 2009

Warning over fresh NHS IT delays – BBC News

MPs question the future of £12.7bn NHS IT scheme – Computer Weekly today [27 January 2009]

Government IT disasters – a clear case for change – Computer Weekly viewpoint [27 January 2009]

NHS IT warnings the government ignored – Computer Weekly [27 January 2009]