The NHS's National Programme for IT is in danger of locking itself out of technology advances

This is one of a series on this blog of some of more memorable comments made by witnesses and MPs at an inquiry into the National Programme for IT [NPfIT] by the Health Committee of the House of Commons.

The witnesses at the first hearing on 26 April 2007 were:

Richard Granger, Director General of IT for the NHS and head of the NPfIT

Harry Cayton, National Director for Patients and the Public, Department of Health

Dr Gillian Braunold, a GP and National Clinical Lead for GPs, Connecting for Health.

Martyn Thomas, visiting Professor of Software Engineering, University of Oxford,

Dr Paul Cundy, Chair, General Practitioners’ Joint IT Committee

Andrew Hawker, NHS Patient

A list of who is on the committee is at the end of this article.

At the Health Committee hearing Martyn Thomas said: “One of my concerns about the way the programme is going is that it is in danger of locking itself out of the advances that will be made in the availability of healthcare systems around the world.


“In setting out to be leader and develop standards which you hope will be adopted elsewhere there is a danger of investing a very large amount in an architecture and in software which rapidly becomes obsolete. Other people come up with better solutions and you cannot easily swop them in because you have something that is too highly integrated.”

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Membership of the House of Commons’ Health Committee

Kevin Barron, Labour, Rother Valley – Chairman

Mr David Amess, Conservative, Southend West

Charlotte Atkins, Labour, Staffordshire Moorlands

Mr Ronnie Campbell, Labour, Blyth Valley

Jim Dowd, Labour, Lewisham West

Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat, Romsey

Stewart Jackson, Conservative, Peterborough

Dr Doug Naysmith, Labour/Co-operative, Bristol North West

Mike Penning, Conservative, Hemel Hempstead

Dr Howard Stoate, Labour, Dartford

Dr Richard Taylor, Independent, Wyre Forest

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