From Nhs It Info


Early Day Motion 2056: NHS Connecting for Health Computer System (27 Apr 2006)

"That this House notes with concern the contents of a letter to the Commons Health Select Committee signed by 23 senior academics in computer-related science which criticises the NHS Connecting for Health computer system . . ."

National Programme for IT - Hansard (24 May 2006)

"Caroline Flint: The National programme is already the focus of regular and routine audit, scrutiny and review. It has been subject from its inception to the Office of Government Commerce Gateway process. Gateway reviews have been, and continue to be, undertaken at each of the standard stages throughout the development of every component project within the programme, and of its cluster-based deployment activity from initiation through to live running. A similar annual and ongoing programme of audit reviews has been, and continues to be, carried out by the Department's internal auditors.
A National Audit Office (NAO) value for money study into choice at the point of referral, which reported in January 2005, involved close scrutiny of the work of the national programme and specifically the choose and book programme. The report on a further NAO value for money study into wider aspects of the programme has yet to be published, and this has included an independent review of programme management capability.
In addition, the programme's own quality management function undertakes a broad range of reviews and audits of specific aspects of programme, cluster and supplier activity on an ongoing basis.
A number of independent reviews have been commissioned under contract, including one commissioned from McKinsey to inform the approach before the start of the programme, and from other suppliers to establish the value for the national health service and taxpayer achieved through the contracts and to examine specific aspects such as disaster recovery. Ongoing review is also encouraged by transparent discussion with key stakeholder groups including the British Medical Association and through consultation initiated by the care record development board.
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."

Blair backs NPfIT (Kablenet Computing, 29 June 2006)

"The prime minister has declared his faith in the NHS National Programme for IT. Tony Blair stated his support in response to a parliamentary question from Conservative MP Richard Bacon on 28 June 2006. Bacon asked how much has been spent on the programme. The prime minister answered that, up to the end of March 2006, expenditure on the contracts let at is outset was £654m. He took the opportunity to repeat the National Audit Office's approval of its progress and "tight control", and that it is planned to connect more than 30,000 GPs in England to over 300 hospitals. Bacon followed up by asking for an assurance that suppliers who fail to deliver on the contracts would not be paid, citing the case of iSoft. The company is one of the biggest suppliers to the programme and has recently reduced its profits forecast due to factors related to NPfIT. Blair said he was not aware of the example, but took the chance to express his faith in the programme. "In the end, one of the huge benefits of having a National Health Service is that we can have electronic patient records that are transferable right around the system," he said. "If that happens, it means not just an end to vast amounts of paperwork in the NHS, but that things such as patient choice, for example, can become a reality.""

Early Day Motion 2911: Data Intrusion (6 Nov 2006)

"That this House notes with concern the increasing incidence of data intrusion or `data rape' as it is increasingly becoming known, the process whereby personal and hitherto confidential data is transferred to central databases established by the Government which can then be made available to third parties, such as police and security services, without consent being required; notes that the operation of the new national medical database will require medical records, which until now have remained in the confidential custody of general practitioner practices, to be uploaded to the Spine, a computer which will collect details from doctors and hospitals; supports the British Medical Association in its demand that patients should be asked for their explicit permission before their files are transferred; further notes with concern the reports of plans to establish and expand national databases in relation to the identity card scheme, DNA and the national census; and calls on the Government to establish a legislative framework that will safeguard access to personal data which has as its foundation not only the requirement for explicit consent but the right to know which agencies have a right to, and have requested access to, personal information."

Details of Relevant All-Party Groups

"All-party groups are regarded as relatively informal compared with other cross-party bodies such as select committees of the House. The membership of all-party groups mainly comprises backbench Members of the House of Commons and Lords but may also include ministers and non-parliamentarians."

Associate Parliamentary Health Group

"Purpose: To provide high quality information to all parliamentarians on local and national health issues in order to generate greater awareness of and participation in the national health debate."

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Technology

"Purpose: To raise awareness of the benefits of medical technologies and to highlight the problems of patient access to these technologies."

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health

"Purpose: To raise the profile of primary care and public health within parliament; to speak within parliament on behalf of both users and those working in the NHS; to place primary care and public health high on the government's agenda; and to inform debate by parliamentarians with outside bodies."

Engineering: turning ideas into reality (18 Mar 2009)

  House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee

". . . Large IT systems are an area of Government procurement that has and continues to experience both bad press and implementation problems. Some would assert that specifications have been driven by political imperatives rather than being derived from operational requirements; a situation which would apply to both the ID Card project and the National IT Programme (Connecting for Health). It is possible that this approach has led to decisions about the architecture of systems being taken or assumed before detailed expert advice was taken. Here, a distinction needs to be made between the advice received by Government in the procurement of systems, which is often good and realistic, and the advice received in the development of policies which are delivered through the procurement of IT, which is often lacking. . ."

Troubled £12bn NHS IT system to be scaled back (6 Dec 2009)

BBC News

The government is to scale back its £12bn NHS IT system in what the Tories are calling a "massive U-turn". Chancellor Alistair Darling said he would be delaying parts of the scheme in Wednesday's pre-Budget Report as it was "not essential to the frontline". The move may save hundreds of millions but Mr Darling admitted it was only a fraction of total spending cuts needed. The Tories and Lib Dems have been calling for the IT system, which has been hit by costly delays, to be axed. Mr Darling told BBC One's Andrew Marr show he was determined to halve Britain's budget deficit over the next four years and as a result public spending would be "a lot tighter than it was in the past". He stressed that the pre-Budget report was not a spending review, but added: "I do think it is necessary for me to indicate areas where we are going to cut spending or where we're not going to spend as much as we were. "For example, the NHS had a quite expensive IT system that, frankly, isn't essential to the frontline. It's something I think we don't need to go ahead with just now." . . . Treasury officials have stressed that only part of the NHS IT programme is facing the axe, and the whole project will not be scrapped. But the Conservatives said Mr Darling's words represented a "massive U-turn". Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said it was "another government IT procurement disaster". "After seven years Labour have finally acknowledged what we've said for years, that the procurement for NHS IT was costing billions and not delivering," he said. The electronic patient record system, which is thought to have cost about £12bn so far, was commissioned in 2002 by then prime minister Tony Blair, and was meant to be completed by 2010. It was supposed to computerise medical records in a central database and link up more than 30,000 GPs to nearly 300 hospitals. Mr Lansley told BBC One's Politics Show the Tories would scrap the "enormous centralised IT system" and instead give hospitals "the opportunity to buy IT systems" that could transfer images, patient records and prescriptions electronically. It comes as the Conservatives called for a moratorium on all government computer projects, ahead of the publication of the government's five-year IT strategy later this week. . .

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