DoH admits IT plan is years behind

Parts of the government's NHS IT strategy are more than two years late, it has admitted.

Health minister Lord Warner said that the cost was likely to be nearer £20 billion than the £6.2 billion estimate, although this higher figure would be the total spend over the next decade.

He said that the summary care record, Choose and Book and electronic prescribing were all running late.

Targets were for most patients to have electronic records, 80 per cent of bookings to be carried out via Choose and Book and half of prescribing to be performed electronically by 2005 in England.

He told the Financial Times: 'If you don't set ambitious timetables you will not drive a big project of this kind.'

Meanwhile, a BBC survey of almost 800 doctors, including 340 GPs, showed that four out of five GPs had access to the NHS IT system, but half rarely or never used it.

- Care records, page 7.

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