Edward Leigh

From Nhs It Info

(Gainsborough, Conservative - Chairman, Public Accounts Committee)

Statement from Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts (19 Jan 2005)


"Plans to reform the NHS have been dealt a blow. There has been abysmal progress towards delivering electronic booking of hospital appointments from GPs? surgeries by the target date of December 2005. By the end of last month, only 63 live electronic bookings had been made, against a forecast of 205,000, at an average cost so far of ?52,000 a booking. This is against a background of some 9 million referrals each year. There is a very real danger that patient choice will be undermined if full electronic booking is not available. GPs around the country are already very sceptical about patient choice: 60 per cent are negative towards patient choice including even those who know most about it. I want to see the Department put every effort into convincing them. Nothing short of an easy to use, fully functioning electronic system for booking hospital appointments will persuade them that choice has a future."

Statement from Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts (16 Jun 2006)


"The National Programme for IT, the most ambitious and expensive healthcare IT project ever undertaken, must not be allowed to go the way of so many other ill-fated government IT projects. If this project is to succeed, it not only has to be delivered on time and to budget, but also win the hearts and minds of the staff who work daily in the NHS. This is not happening at the moment. Many staff, including GPs, are alarmed and dispirited by having the new systems imposed by diktat from above. They are also often confused about what the new systems are going to do and when. At the moment the jury is out. But today's report makes worrying reading. We now know for the first time that the ?6.2 billion announced as the cost of the project over ten years is wrong. NAO analysis indicates that this is only half the story and that a figure of ?12.4 billion is nearer the mark. And the NHS Care Records Service, making information about patients available nationally to clinicians, will be rolled out in GPs? surgeries two years late. We are only a third of the way through the life of the contracts, to 2013-14, but already the signs are ominous."

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