NHS IT watch

Richard Holway, a respected market analyst, has written a forceful critique of media coverage of the NHS's £12.4bn National Programme for IT.

Richard Holway, a respected market analyst, has written a forceful critique of media coverage of the NHS's £12.4bn National Programme for IT.

He believes, for example, that Richard Granger, director general of NHS IT, has unfairly been placed at the centre of criticism of the programme. He also argues that everyone agrees with the objectives of the programme, that it will save lives, and that it will be a model for the rest of the world to follow.

On this basis, he argues that the media should be less critical, especially as Granger has crafted contracts that ensure taxpayers will not pay for supplier failures.

Computer Weekly responds here to Holway's comments by arguing that rigorous scrutiny by the media is crucial to the success of the programme.

We also argue that it is wrong to personalise the programme: it involves ministers, civil servants and thousands of people in the NHS it does not belong to one man.

We further point out that an independent review could answer many of the unanswered questions - for example, whether the programme is headed in the right direction.

Read article: NHS IT project is force for good and worth the pain ...

Read article: ...but not at the expense of patients or of the media's independence


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