Friday, September 23, 2011

Well That Seems To Be An End ToThe UK National Health IT Program. There Are Lessons Here I Am Sure!

The following appeared overnight.

NHS told to abandon delayed IT project

£12.7bn computer scheme to create patient record system is to be scrapped after years of delays
The Guardian, Thu 22 Sep 2011 01.54 BST
An ambitious multibillion pound programme to create a computerised patient record system across the entire NHS is being scrapped, ministers have decided.
The £12.7bn National Programme for IT is being ended after years of delays, technical difficulties, contractual disputes and rising costs.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson have decided it is better to discontinue the programme rather than put even more money into it. The axe may be wielded , with ministers likely to criticise the last Labour government for initiating the project but doing too little to ensure it delivered its objectives.
An announcement has been expected for months after the National Audit Office cast serious doubt on the wisdom of ploughing further money into the scheme and David Cameron told MPs in May that he was considering that advice. Whitehall sources confirmed the decision had been made because of coalition cost-cutting and the ongoing problems.
"It was meant to be a very helpful thing for NHS staff and patients but instead has become this amazingly top-heavy, hideously expensive programme. The problem is, it didn't deliver", said a Department of Health source.
More here:
There are clearly a lot of lessons to be learnt. I hope we bother to look very closely as what happened and exactly why!


Anonymous said...

NEHTA's CEO needs to make a public statement on this UK development without delay.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Here is the official press release:


Anonymous said...

my, it's a long way down once you start going down. And how fast the vultures gather

Anonymous said...

I think there are some fundamental differences between the UK NPfIT disaster and Australia's approach with NEHTA.

1. UK was the largest civilian IT undertaking in the world, covering 60 million people. It was a top down approach with centralised control. It was positioned as leading the way for others to follow.

2. Australia's HealthConnect got into difficulties and was reinvented as NEHTA. HealthConnect was described as the largest IT project ever undertaken in Australia. It covered 22 million people. It was a top down approach embracing centralised government control and positioned as a fast follower.

The the similarities are many, the differences are few.

Similarities: Very large centralised government controlled projects embracing a total population are doomed to failure.

Differences: The UK Government has decided its world leading project has failed and is now to be terminated. The Australian Government still believes it's NEHTA led project is close to success. As for being a follower decide ..!!