The British Medical Association (BMA) has criticised “slipping deadlines” of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), and says more progress needs to be made at a local level.
The BMA’s comments come in the light of last week’s National Audit Office (NAO) report on NPfIT progress since 2006.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GP negotiator with responsibility for IT said: “It is clear from the NAO report that the setting of unrealistic deadlines has been very damaging to NPfIT.
“Slipping deadlines for new IT systems and the premature release of systems that are not fit for purpose has been deeply frustrating for NHS staff, leaving many doctors thoroughly disillusioned with the programme.”
Dr Nagpaul said the report highlights that the success of NPfIT will depend on the commitment of NHS staff.
He said: “The major challenge for local health organisations will be to create an environment that fosters the commitment and confidence of staff.
“This will only happen if the progress on the development of the programme becomes more transparent. Staff must be kept abreast of how new technology is going to impact on their hospital or practice. More work needs to be done on achieving this at a local level.”
Dr Nagpaul also said that more needs to be done to improve the public awareness about electronic patient records and to make the public aware of issues around consent.
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