NAO: Care records 'four years behind schedule'

A key part of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) is now four years behind schedule, say government auditors.

In a report out today, the National Audit Office says that the programme has made progress and its cost remains unchanged.

But it warned that the electronic Care Records Service, which allows doctors to access patients' medical histories, will not be ready until 2014-15 - four years later than planned. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, IT lead on the GPC, said that the programme's unrealistic deadlines had been ‘very damaging'.

‘Slipping deadlines for new IT systems and the premature release of systems that are not fit for purpose has [left] many doctors thoroughly disillusioned with the programme,' he said. 

The delays are largely due to problems in developing the Lorenzo system used in the North, Midlands and East of England. These problems have forced trusts to spend time and money on an interim system.

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