GPs' support for IT scheme falters

Support for the £2.3bn national programme for IT in the NHS may be dwindling among clinicians, according to a new survey.

Support for the £2.3bn national programme for IT in the NHS may be dwindling among clinicians, according to a new survey.

The latest Medix survey of more than 800 doctors, including over 400 GPs, showed that 54% were fairly enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about the plan, compared to 66% in February.

The Medix report said, "Doctors' attitudes to the NPfIT are largely positive. That is despite the unambiguous finding that few doctors have been consulted and, unsurprisingly, know little about the NPfIT. However, the survey suggested there may have been a recent decline in support and this is particularly true of GPs."

The survey coincided with the publication of an influential think-tank report which warned that the success of the NPfIT could be jeopardised unless sufficient resources and support go into change management.

The report, by the Institute for Public Policy Research, said greater centralisation of IT management and procurement will lead to lower software prices and improved procurement times.

But the Public Value and E-Health report, added, "This high level of central funding is not guaranteed and local funding for ICT remains vulnerable."

IPPR report author Jamie Bend said the main focus of the NPfIT so far had been on IT procurement. "There has not been enough thought to changing business processes. Systems are so primitive that new IT will deliver some benefits, but there needs to be business process re-engineering."

The NPfIT said in reply to the report, "The benefits realisation framework being developed by Aidan Halligan [joint senior responsible owner of the NPfIT] will enable trusts to assess, monitor and track benefits realisation."

Doctors feel left out of NHS plans >>

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