Doctors fear NHS IT will never work as planned

Senior doctors and NHS managers fear that the NHS IT programme will never work properly, a survey shows.

They report that uncertainty about policy and competition with other priorities for NHS finance have left local managers unable to focus on implementing the programme.

Senior NHS staff in finance, IT and clinical roles surveyed blamed slow implementation of the programme on a lack of clarity and poor communications from Connecting for Health, the DoH agency responsible for delivering the IT programme.

But Dr Gillian Braunold, GP clinical lead for Connecting for Health said almost everything on GPs’ wish list will be up and running by the end of the year.

She said: ‘It sounds like the study is talking about the IT programme as one entity, but in reality it has many strands and in terms of what GPs have asked for, it is going very well indeed.’

GP-to-GP transfer, the facility enabling practices to send patient records electronically, will be in place from June, and other elements of the programme will begin to be put in place from that date, she said.

Dr Braunold said that ‘a lot of money has already been spent on the Quality Management and Analysis System’ which was not originally in the IT programme’s remit.

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