Coalition Government Pulls The Plug On NHS NPfIT While Retaining The National Infrastructure

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 12:05 GMT Jump to Comments

The Department of Health has scrapped the nationally imposed "National Programme For IT" and allow local NHS trusts and others to determine what applications should be used locally in addition to the already existing national tools such as Choose and Book, Electronic Prescription Services and PACS.

These services have already been delivered and are now fully integrated with the current administration of the health service. A review has concluded that retaining a national infrastructure would deliver best value for the taxpayers, while enabling local service providers to choose modules they need to effectively delivery health services in their communities.

NHS services will be the customers of a more plural system of IT embodying the core assumption of ‘connect all’, rather than ‘replace all’ systems. This reflects the coalition government’s commitment to ending top-down government and enabling localised decision-making.

“Improving IT is essential to delivering a patient-centred NHS. But the nationally imposed system is neither necessary nor appropriate to deliver this. We will allow hospitals to use and develop the IT they already have and add to their environment either by integrating systems purchased through the existing national contracts or elsewhere," Health Minister Simon Burns said today.

The Minister claimed the Government's approach would release £700 Million in savings which in turn would be invested in front line patient care.

Director General for Informatics, Christine Connelly, said:

“It is clear that the National Programme for IT has delivered important changes for the NHS including an infrastructure which the NHS today depends on for providing safe and responsive health care. Now the NHS is changing, we need to change the way IT supports those changes, bringing decisions closer to the front line and ensuring that change is manageable and holds less risk for NHS organisations.”

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