Monday, 22 June 2009

NHS database delays increase

There is one aspect of the National Identity Register and ID cards that is rather reassuring, namely that our government is in charge of it. So it may be some time....

The chaos encompassing the plan to computerise all NHS records linked to a central database or 'spine' is still having major problems. news.zdet reports that:

The government was warned back in 2004 that immediate action was needed to fix problems in the £12.7bn programme to revamp NHS IT. The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) is facing a number of difficulties: key projects to digitise patient records by 2014-2015 are already running four years late, two major suppliers have walked away from the project and there is no practical central mechanism to manage health trusts' expenditure on implementation and training activities.

Reviews of the delivery of the Care Records Service (CRS) found bad feeling towards the electronic medical records project among clinicians had been compounded by technical difficulties. These included suppliers missing deadlines for rollouts of patient administration systems (PAS) and delays in the deployment of the Spine central database, which limited the tasks the PAS could be used for.

Earlier this year the Public Accounts Committee, described the Department of Health's progress on CRS as "very disappointing" and said if the deployment of the scheme did not improve, the department should consider abandoning the planned national implementation of it.

The Department of Health's response:

New IT systems in the NHS are delivering better, safer and faster care."

If you haven't already done so go to the The Big Opt Out and prevent having your GP data uploaded to the 'spine'.

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