Some Cerner NPfIT go-lives a step forward - SHA chair

The chairman of a strategic health authority says that some Cerner go-lives in the south of England have been a huge step forward – but at others implementations have been a “step backwards”.

The Cerner “Millennium” Care Records Service is due to be installed at NHS trusts across the south including London, as part of the NHS’s National Programme for IT.

Graham Eccles, chairman of the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority, told his board that in “some hospitals, Cerner release zero was a huge step forward, while in others it was a step backwards”.

He said that the NHS needed take stock and concentrate on rectifying “those areas where Cerner had reduced back room efficiency in hospitals”. He added that “this was the most important thing that the NHS faces in the coming year in terms of governance.”

Eccles also said there was nothing the Board could do about the lateness of the NPfIT. It was, however, within the Board’s power to catch up on quality issues and roll out a quality-driven programme. Eccles meets regularly the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson.

Eccles said he could pass on the Board’s concerns to Johnson.

Comment:

Cerner has brought some benefits at NHS trusts.  It won’t surprise anyone either that some Cerner implementations have been a backward step at some hospitals. But it’s rare for frank criticism to be made by a senior official at a strategic health authority. But Eccles is a non-executive chairman. He is not a permanent executive and can speak freely about the National Programme for IT [NPfIT].  Which raises questions about whether too many permanent executives are unable to speak freely.

Links:

Minister defensive over NPfIT Cerner sites – IT Projects Blog

Government too secretive and controlling despite Freedom of Information Act – Press Gazette

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