TECH: Phil Sissions on the NHS–Less there than meets the eye

Also at the TEPR Conference, Phil Sissions, who recently left working for the UK’s NHS’ National Program for Information Technology (NPfIT), gave a pretty critical account of the progress to date for the single largest program in health care IT. The only real successes were getting broadband into the various hospitals and practices, and getting some PACS systems up. Getting doctors their own email address was somewhat mocking called the biggest achievement. Sessions said that many of the other programs, including the Choose and Book appointment system are barely being used, and that GPs have revolted when being told that they had to change out their practice management systems. So far the project has spent hardly any of the money allocated to it (approx. 650m GBP each year) because most of the contracted software hasn’t been delivered. Meanwhile, local hospitals and physician authorities have little money for process change, and have stopped much IT development progress waiting for the central program to provide for them. Sissions didn’t give the attendees much cause for optimism, and indicated that there was a heightening level of hostility between the vendors and NPfIT head Richard Granger.

More later….




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