Officials blame suppliers for delays to IT scheme

Lack of capacity among suppliers has led to things “going wrong” with the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT, and it is still a risk, senior officials told MPs last week.

Lack of capacity among suppliers has led to things “going wrong” with the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT, and it is still a risk, senior officials told MPs last week.

NHS acting chief executive Ian Carruthers, director of IT implementation Richard Jeavons and Richard Granger, chief executive of Connecting for Health, which runs the IT programme, were questioned at the Commons Public Accounts Committee hearing to examine the National Audit Office’s report on the NPfIT.

The MPs were sceptical of the “almost universally positive tone” of the NAO report, described by MP Greg Clark as “easily the most gushing” he had seen.

Pressed by committee chairman Edward Leigh, Carruthers said the two-year delay in introducing a national clinical record service  was a decision taken because “some suppliers were having difficulties meeting the timetable” and clinicians wanted to pilot the scheme.

Granger said, “There is a shortage of capacity in the IT industry and we have had to bring in a lot of resources, from India and the US in particular, and some things have unfortunately gone wrong as a consequence of that.”

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