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NAO offers forensic analysis of NHS IT programme

The National Audit Office says the aim for every patient to have an electronic care record will not now be achieved under the National Programme for IT.

The NAO's report, published on 18 May, says the rate at which electronic care records systems are being put in place across the NHS under the National Programme for IT is falling far below expectations and the core aim that every patient should have an electronic care record under the Programme will not now be achieved.

It says that, even where systems have been delivered, they are not yet able to do everything that the Department intended, especially in acute trusts. The report concludes that the £2.7 billion spent so far on care records systems does not represent value for money.

NHS Confederation response

Responding, the NHS Confederation's Frances Blunden said: "The report offers a forensic examination of where we have got to and why with the NHS IT system. The key lesson from this project is that, no matter how exciting the vision is, such a complicated project needs buy-in across the NHS if it is to succeed.

Safely and effectively

"The NHS, like any modern healthcare system, needs to have an electronic record scheme so that patient data can be shared safely and care delivered more effectively. A great deal of progress has been made in many areas of this project but the central record system remains to be completed.

Difficult decisions

"With NHS funding so tight and all the local and regional structures for implementing new IT being removed, some difficult decisions will need to be made. It is essential to make sure the right support is there to get this project completed as the NHS goes through a significant re-organisation."

NAO report

Visit the NAO website for more information and to access the report in full. 

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