We – and others including Robin Guenier – said in 2002 that ruthlessly centralised IT systems could not be foisted on NHS trusts which take their own decisions. But Downing Street and the Department of Health went ahead anyway with the ruthlessly-centralised National Programme for IT [NPfIT]. Now David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, is repeating Guenier’s warning:
“The idea that you could, by attrition, drive a national programme into an NHS that was unwilling to accept it, simply is not deliverable.”
David Nicholson February 2009, Public Accounts Committee, in response to a question from MP Richard Bacon.
And once Nicholson has retired – with the inevitable knighthood – the lesson will doubtless be forgotten.
Why good NHS technology is so badly needed – Johnson King