Doctors reject Tory plans to scrap NPfIT

The vast majority of doctors and NHS IT staff want the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) to continue, according to a survey.

The Conservative party unveiled plans to scrap NPfIT last August.

But the survey, conducted by IT website E-Health Insider and online forum Doctors.net.uk, found that four out of five doctors and IT experts want to see the programme reformed with greater clinician input, rather than abandoned altogether.

Also 86% of doctors have serious problems with Conservative plans to let private companies hold patient records.

One NHS IT manager told the survey: ‘It would be a mistake to abandon the work done so far. An age old problem with the NHS is that things get reinvented all the time, as if they had never been thought of before.

‘And expecting total reform in the lifetime of a Parliament is unrealistic.’

‘The national programme has come in for such heavy criticism that it is a surprise to see it being given any support,’ said Lyn Whitfield, managing editor of E-Health Insider.

‘Yet the clear message of this survey is that managers and doctors want to see it reformed, not scrapped.’

More than 1,566 clinicians, NHS IT and general managers answered the survey.

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