Monday, June 05, 2006

NHS overspend on IT project

Who will ever be held accountable for the NHS project IT fiasco ? The mainstream media is catching up here - see the Telegraph today. However as I mentioned before the technical press has been on about this for years. In fact to the extent that they were being barred from department of health press briefings at one point.

This was foreseen and forewarned - but will those who ignored those warnings be held to account ?
If you want to get a heads up on future government IT disasters I recommend reading Computer Weekly - whilst its a trade magazine its in English and is accessible. You may hear about where your tax money is going to be wasted next !

By the way did you know Patricia Hewitt used to work for an IT consultants firm ?

Update: See this from Computer Weekly - highlights are mine:

Last week health minister Caroline Flint explicitly rejected a call for the government to commission an independent audit of the NPfIT.

We remain confident that the technical architecture of the national programme is appropriate and will enable benefits to be delivered for patients, and value for money for the taxpayer, without further independent scrutiny,” she said.

But in the South of England, the NHS has been unable to meet a contractual obligation to place the equivalent of about 50 employees with Japanese-owned Fujitsu, and it is to pay £19m to the supplier to be released from the requirement.

This means Fujitsu will receive compensation to the equivalent of about £380,000 per NHS employee – but the supplier could have potentially fined the NHS up to £1.4m per employee over the 10-year life of the contract if it failed to meet the contractual obligation.

The £19m to be paid to Fujitsu will come from hard-pressed NHS budgets.

Will she resign if it turns out she's wrong and has wasted lots of money that should have been saving peoples lives - or worse put in a system that fails and thereby kills people ?


Dr Crippen makes much the same point - but as ever with his own authority.

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