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Foundations for modern NHS have been laid, claims IT head

31 March 2009

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The foundations for the creation of a modern, joined-up IT service in the NHS have now been laid, according to Martin Bellamy, the head of NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CfH).

Mr Bellamy (pictured) will make a keynote speech at April’s Healthcare Computing 2009 conference Shaping the Future, to be held in Harrogate.

Mr Bellamy, who is Director of Programmes and Systems Delivery at the Department of Health, is expected to tell delegates how systems already delivered in the NHS are helping real people.

So far, he claims, complex central projects such as N3, the Spine, NHS email systems, Choose and Book and electronic prescriptions have been successfully delivered.

“We often focus on the aspects of the National Programme that are behind schedule. But we need to remind people of our progress,” Mr Bellamy said in an interview with the British Computer Society’s magazine HI Now.

He added: “As I’ve travelled around the NHS, I have heard many people talking about what things were like before the National Programme. IT was fragmented. Trusts were served by smaller suppliers, which meant ambitions for modernisation were often thwarted.

“While we still have a long way to go, we have many of the foundations in place for making that modernisation happen.”

He continued: “In a year’s time I believe we will be realising benefits and deploying new systems as a matter of routine. We will be working with NHS organisations in a systematic way so that any deployment of systems is fully prepared for. We will be building a rhythm of delivery.”

British Computer Society