David Cameron has said that ending a contract with a private company in order to change the NHS’s computer system will be considered by the government.
The prime minister faced calls to get rid of the new system and save an extra £4.7bn from Conservative MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon, who said that the money could be better spent going directly to patients, and that the programme will “never deliver its early promise”.
The IT systems, which have been inherited from the Labour government, were labelled by Mr Cameron as “poor value for money”, with the implementation of the £12bn centralised records system for 50 million patients in England taking four years longer than planned.
He told the Commons: “Since coming in to government we have reviewed the projects with the intention of making the best of what we have inherited.
“In part, as a result of our work, the government has cut £1.3bn from the cost of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) in the NHS, including planned savings of at least £500m from Computer Sciences Corporation.”
He added: “There are no plans to sign any new contract with Computer Sciences Corporation until the National Audit Office report has been reviewed and until the Public Accounts Committee meetings and the Major Projects Authority reviews have taken place.
“The Department of Health and Cabinet Office will examine all the available options under the current contract, including the option of terminating some or all of the contracts.”
Copyright © Press Association 2011
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
“The Care Records Scheme was doomed from the start. Too many people with access and therefore security issues, too many organisations with diverse systems or none, vested interests, people commissioning the systems without full understanding of the implicatations etc. The EMIS clinical system has available a feature to allow patients to view their own GP records wherever there is an internet connection, be it on holiday in eg, New Zealand or in the local A&E or outpatients’ department. The other GP systems that do not have this facility or for which there is an annual charge, could be included in the strategy for all patients to have access, at a fraction of the cost of the NCRS. It is also likely that the GP record will have the latest information, including medication and discharge letters, available, thereby improving the quality of the information included without the need for complicated IT measures. I rest my case” – Name and address withheld