Tuesday, July 27, 2004


May 2004

The £6bn programme to revolutionise the NHS's IT is under fire for failing to communicate with doctors and clinical staff who will have to work with the new systems.

The row erupted last week after the surprise resignation of one of Britain's top doctors, Professor Peter Hutton, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, from the programme's advisory board.

Guardian Unlimited, May 6 2004

July 2004

The Department of Health (DoH) has set up a body to represent the interest of patients in the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

Patients and doctors will be able to have their say on the new £5bn NHS National Programme for IT.

ZDnet, July 6, 2004

Journalists always focus on what they find surprising about the story. Perhaps it is unusual that patients are being consulted. Perhaps it is even unusual to consult doctors. But it was the doctors whose representatives walked out of the previous body.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

It might be unusual to consult doctors, but it is also impossible to successfully implement a system such as the Care Records Service (CRS) without their input.

Unfortunately, the £5 billion worth of contracts for NPfIT have been handed out BEFORE anyone knows what is required of the key element of the system. The report in Guardian Unlimited on May 6th 2004 shows that fundamental questions have not been addressed before, and yet, all the contracts had been awarded, to accord with a secret technical specification, months before anyone started thinking about the realities of what this system needs to do.

Richard Granger, the Director General of NHS IT, has been quoted as saying that the CRS will soon be live, but the Care Records Development Board has only just been set up, and its first conference takes place in November this year.

So, this project is following Bill Livingston's Universal Scenario of Project Failure to the letter. The first stage is:

Ready, Fire, Aim

Some aiming is now being considered for the first time.

The second stage is:

Feeding Frenzy

That ended when the contracts were all handed out to the usual suspects "right on schedule".

The third stage is:

Party Time

I am sure the suppliers are partying like mad:-)

The fourth stage is:

Disconnect & Distance

All the suppliers will be working away furiously inside their silos, and everything will be seen to be "on schedule".

The fact that nobody yet knows what the requirement is might be thought to be a bit of a problem, but Richard Granger has already announced that the project is going fine, and that the only problems likely to occur will be caused by the press and other "negative" commentators being unnecessarily critical and undermining faith in the project.

I will see whether I can book a place at the November conference. It ought to be great fun! We can expect a lot of fur to be flying :-)