A top official has been suspended at a critical stage in the £6bn NHS programme to implement electronic health records and hospital appointment booking systems.
David Kwo, regional implementation director for the NHS Connecting for Health London cluster, was suspended from duty last Thursday to allow an investigation into allegations that have been received, Connecting for Health said in a statement.
“He will remain suspended until such time as the investigation has been completed. The suspension is not a judgement but a precautionary measure to ensure that an appropriate and fair investigation can take place.
“In the interim, Martyn Forrest, regional implementation director for the North East cluster, will be acting regional implementation director for London.”
Connecting for Health refused to comment further on the nature of the allegations or how long the investigation was expected to take.
Health IT staff in London and Capital Care Alliance, the BT-led consortium for the London implementation of the programme, are likely to be concerned about how Forrest can take on the additional workload in an already demanding roll-out programme.
In March last year, at a national programme briefing to IT executives, Kwo said he wanted chief executive officers and clinicians in the NHS to promote the programme with "fire in their bellies".
Otherwise, he said, they would not be able to "hold the line when early resistance, which is natural in the beginning, emerges".