NHS National Programme for IT in the spotlight

Latest news and recent coverage of the £12.4bn National Programme for IT in the NHS.

The much-publicised National Health Service Programme for IT, otherwise known as NpfIT, is the Government’s £12.4bn NHS IT transformation programme.

Rarely out of the headlines, the NHS National Programme for IT has been beset with an array of problems, raising passions on all sides.

Issues faced by NPfIT include key elements of the programme being years late; escalating costs; suppliers running into difficulties; and, in some cases, a lack of support by doctors and health professionals.

When it was launched in June 2000, the government recognised the need for a comprehensive update of NHS IT systems.

The NHS National Programme for IT therefore focused on four projects, although others were delivered along the way.

These were an electronic system to book hospital appointments (Choose and Book), a set of reliable, national electronic health records, a new broadband infrastructure, and e-prescriptions.

BT successfully delivered the broadband infrastructure, though critics attacked the cost. Choose and Book is working, but many GPs refuse to use it. E-prescriptions have been delayed, but may prove useful in time.

However, the main bugbear is the national electronic health record: the main purpose of NPfIT. This looks to be years away, with many experts now questioning whether it is needed, as regional records seem adequate in many cases.

One of the features of the National Programme for IT has been the vocal nature of proponents and critics of the scheme, who include politicians, medical experts and academics.

A key figure is the charismatic director general of NHS IT, Richard Granger, who is recognised as having held the whole programme together with a firm grip on the finances.

He left as chief executive of Connecting for Health in June 2007, leaving the future of NPfIT in question.
National Health Service Programme for IT – NpfIT news stories/features

Report exposes stark reality of NHS IT

National Health Service Programme for IT – NpfIT on the rest of web

National Health Service Programme for IT – NpfIT blogs

National Health Service Programme for IT – NpfIT images

National Health Service Programme for IT – NpfIT video

Catch up on the recent history of the NPfIT with these Computer Weekly stories.







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