NHS professionals told: Seize chance to examine National IT plan

NHS IT staff should seize the chance to examine Richard Granger's blueprint for the future of health service IT, now it has been...

NHS IT staff should seize the chance to examine Richard Granger's blueprint for the future of health service IT, now it has been posted on the web.

The NHS National Programme, which is overseeing the £2.3bn health service IT overhaul, published its detailed business specifications following criticism that the crucial information was being withheld.

The 600-plus-page document, Output Based Specification for the Integrated Care Records Service, covers plans for revolutionising the NHS's technology infrastructure, and includes key initiatives such as electronic booking and transfer of prescriptions.

It was initially provided to companies bidding to become Local Service Providers and National Infrastructure Providers to the NHS, but NHS IT professionals and smaller NHS IT suppliers were denied access.

Tony Eardley, chairman of Assist, which represents information and communications professionals in the health service, said, "It's an important document and IT managers should look at it - this is an outline of what the electronic record needs to look like and the functionality that it should have over the coming years."

Jean Roberts, head of the policy task force at the British Computer Society's Health Informatics Committee, said the decision to put the information on the internet was a positive move.

She said, "It does make it more readily available for scrutiny and will hopefully set a precedent that people will look for with his type of information."

"The more this information is widely available, the more likely we are to minimise the risk of solutions that are not fit for purpose," she added.

A statement on the internet described the 639-page specification document as being "for information only", with the National Programme only answering queries about it from suppliers involved in procurement.

 

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