Monday, 2 February 2009

£12.7bn spent on NHS computer system that doesn't work

An investigation by The Times and Computer Weekly shows that the overrun of the largest IT projects totals £18.6 billion. Those include a controversial plan to computerise all NHS patients’ records, originally estimated to cost £2.3 billion over three years but the cost of which has grown to £12.7 billion.

Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, which represents 90 per cent of NHS organisations and which welcomed the review, said: “You can’t do modern healthcare without a computer system. But the Care Records system at the heart of the programme isn’t working. The software isn’t functioning. There is a growing pessimism among the people I represent that it can actually deliver.”

This works out at just under half a mill per doctor in the NHS ... for a system that doesn't work, and may never be likely to. Our money, of course.

I would ask in exasperation, who pays the idiots who make monumental cock-ups like this? But that's us too, isn't it. Good grief.

Source: The Times


Mark Wadsworth said...

"half a mill per doctor"

£18,600 million divided by 'half a mill' = 37,200. Are there only 37,200 doctors in the NHS, with a staff of around a million? I'd have thought more like 100,000 doctors including GPs.

Still a colossal waste of money.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I took the figures in the piece, "the NHS programme, which aims to link more than 30,000 GPs to nearly 300 hospitals"

What's that quote about Labour? Something like "sooner or later they run out of other people's money to spend?". It can't be far away now.

These wvs are spooky sometimes - imence

Mark Wadsworth said...

In that case your figure is correct. Ot you could call it £60 million per hospital.

AntiCitizenOne said...

It seems to me that they are trying much too hard to structure the data.

As most of the data will(should) be read by medical staff, not collated into information by the computer there seems very little need to have a complex structure, just a "soft" blob of events (may be text of a picture say x-ray) linked to a patient record.

It says to me the driver for the system is not use by medical staff but statistical reporting!
If so then I expect resistance to be high and benefits to be low.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AC!, you mean they just ought to scan everything in, like Companies House? Their system works very well, is cheap to use and sure as heck didn't cost £18 billion.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Yep, scan it in, or let someone type it in!

Too complex = User resistance.

It takes a lot of skill to make something simple. It seems to me that the people behind NHSIT have little skill.