back to article NHS told to prepare to ditch care records

The Public Accounts Committee says that if the NHS Care Records Service is not ready in six months, the government should consider funding alternatives In a critical report on the progress of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) since 2006, the committee said that the Care Records Service, one of the programme's key …


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  1. John Colby

    Why is this no surprise?

    or is it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think that head of science and ETHICS at the British Medical Association should be fighting tooth and claw to prevent patient details being trivially searchable by the the state

    SELECT * FROM patient WHERE drug_user = 'y' AND employment = 'teacher' LIMIT 20000;

    By allowing it the medical profession has betrayed the public.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well done elreg,

    Another sensationalist headline and article, Lorenzo is not the only item in this project by a long shot, what about all the iCM and iPM roll outs, which as another reader commented in another article, pretty much is the blood and guts of Lorenzo anyway.

    The truth of the matter is, the job is very hard and complex, the quote was under time, no-one could acuratley forecast the problems that need to be over come, and they are by no means soley on the shoulders of the IT providers...

    So, what would happen if they shut down the project? a massive backwards step, massive holes in interigty of the NHS and all that just to start again? come on!

    this isn;t even considering the trusts that are live with the systems provided, and are very happy!

    Funny how we never hear from them, just the inscipid trumpeting of this bloody comittee, maybe disbanding groups who meet to discuss public funding, funded by public funding could help?

    Maybe all of this hot air is to try and keep themselves in a job over such turbulent times......

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When I read the title I thought my details might end up on a USB stick left in a pub and sold on fleabay.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many contractors

    Ironically because there are fewer contractors working on the project it's more likely to be successful.

    I worked on a large government project (one of the largest that ever was) comprising several large contractors and my own personal view, things would have been much simpler, smoother, easier if the prime contractor didn't exist!

    It was a strange relationship, with the system builders working closely with the client but the prime contractor specifying system requirements and owning the network infrastructure on the client's site.

    The prime contractor didn't understand what the client wanted, didn't have much a presence on the client site, the system builders would only do exactly what they were told by the prime contractor, even if it didn't make much sense.

    The people that really understood what the client wanted were the system builders, but nothing could happen until the prime contactor had done its system level assessment (but they didn't really understand what the system did because they had no interaction with it!)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward

    "this isn;t even considering the trusts that are live with the systems provided, and are very happy!

    Funny how we never hear from them.."

    It's not funny at all if you consider the possibility that the reason you don't hear from them is simply because they don't exist!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    "What would happen if they should down the project?"

    It would apparently be done by smaller contractors using open source, according to the Tories. [1] How could that possibly be any worse than BT Global Services (£340M writeoff? Boss's £1M5 payoff) and Microsoft under Tony's Cronies?


    "The Conservatives are considering plans for a £100m cap on government IT contracts to prevent "white elephants" such as the NHS computer system. Instead of awarding long-term contracts to large IT companies they could open up the procurement process to smaller firms using "open source" software."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have detailed files.

    The man most directly responsible is Miles Bennett Dyson.

    In a few months he makes a revolutionary kind of new Hoover, a turning wheel Hoover.

    The NHS Net funding bill is passed.

    The system goes online, August 4th, 2997. Human decisions are removed from strategic NHS.

    NHSNet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self aware 2:14am eastern time August 29th.

    All over the country, Muslim fathers, and husbands examine their daughters' and wives' NHS records at home, they find they've had an abortion, or a miscarriage, or are on the pill. Their fate is decided in a microsecond.

    In the panic, they try to pull the plug.

  9. Kris Kirkbride
    IT Angle

    Just Facebook it ALL.

    It's simple.

    I can solve this for just a token million pound payment (whicih ill spend on a house in the sun)

    1) Sign the entire UK upto Facebook.

    2) Add all your details into your account.

    3) If you need a hospital/GP/dental appointment, add the hopital/surgery as a friend. If they have space, they'll allow you and you can book an apointment via their 'events' tab. If not, tough, try another surgery/hopital/dental surgery.

    4) Add your doctor/dentist/GP as your friend (make sure only friends can see your details/medical ailments)

    5) When you visit hospital, add the nurse and receptionist that attend to you as a friend so they can see your details too.

    6) Allow them to leave comments on your 'wall' detailing diagnosis and prescriptions.

    7) Add your pharmacist as a friend to prescribe the drugs.


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  11. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Heh heh - social networking folder work better with lower cost?

    Luv 'em, h8 'em or endoor 'em one thing the present UK government has is a whole lot of good intentions, a whole lot of throwing muni at problems and a whole lack of scrutiny about where the dosh goes.

    It seems that an open-treasury treasure box attract the usual suspects and the usual greed.

    (Miners seek compensation, bill ramps up to £8 billion half of which goes to solicitors and admin. Nice muni if you can get it and lack the scruples to get it honestly? GPs = can't operate with greater efficiency than we do > revise payment structure > create millionaire GPs?)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Socialism plus Fascism is the goal, and NPfIT is THE vital tool.

    "No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo...Socialist policy is abhorrent to British ideas of freedom...there can be no doubt that socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism." So said Churchill in 1945, in a warning about what would happen if people elected Attlee.

    Since then we have had socialism in the UK; the Tory's maintain the status quo and the Labour party turn the scews a little bit, every time they are in power.

    This NHS scam is just a bit more of the same, with a dash of fascism thrown in for a laugh.

    We are told that the existence of a NHS net has the advantage that we can fall sick anywhere in the country and NHS staff can have instant access to our records. Of course the real point is that the government and it's civil service cronies have the same access, so that they can produce statistics to prove that their latest "five year plan" is on schedule, or that their corporatist friends in the banks and insurance companies can better target their customers "needs".

    The truth is, that the benefits that we get can also be achieved with a simple email, or even as someone put it earlier with a social networking cloud system. The benefits for the fascists that infest our governmental system, can only be achieved with something like the NHS National Programme for IT.

    It will never be abandoned, all the while the executive in the UK is beyond public control.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Henry Helmet - Usual Rubbish Press

    I have 2 experiences of choose and book.

    1) Leave doctors who say they'll post me a username and the details of the choose and book system. Next thing I get is a snotty letter from the choose and book people saying if you don't make an appointment soon I won't be able to. Contact the doctors who swear that they did send me registration details and that they'll send them again. Try to book on-line to find that none of the three available centres takes on-line bookings. Phone up to make a booking. Approximate time taken until booking was made - 3 weeks. I was at least offered a choice of appointment day and time.

    2) Leave doctors who say they'll post me a username and details of the choose and book system for my son which duly arrives about a week later. Try to book on-line. No appointments available at any of the three centres. Try again next day - none available. Website says to phone, so I phone - "Sorry, No appointments available, we'll phone the hospital. The hospital will then contact you with an appointment." A few days later the hospital phones up.

    "We have 2 appointment times to offer you, one on the 10th and one on the 14th."

    "What time is the one on the 10th?"

    "Oh, it's gone."

    "I'll take the one on the 14th."

    It becomes apparent to me that they're using the choose and book system and they have a grand total of 2 appointments to offer me and one was booked by a punter while I was on the phone. They then send a letter of confirmation. So I had a choice of 1 or 2 appointments. Time taken to book the appointment approximately 2 weeks.

    Compare with a department that didn't offer choose and book. No choice of appointment time but appointment letter recieved within 3 days with no effort on my part and very little effort on anyone elses.

    It seems to me that choose and book, whilst it may be a nice idea, takes a large amount of time and effort to provide you with a limited amount of choice, and it would be simpler, cheaper, quicker and more efficient to just send out appointment letters.

    The idiocy of all this is that I live in a city with a hospital. We are offered appointments in our hospital, or two others, 20 and 30 miles away. We don't want appointments in the other hospitals!

    On a different tack, I have indirect experience of a system produced by one of the remaining suppliers in this project. They wrote a system to replace a legacy unix system with a new web front-end on a large database. Data entry now takes minutes instead of seconds. Reports take hours to run instead of minutes. The supplier would not allow anyone other than themselves to link to the database to report from it because this would "slow the system down".

    Changes take so long to implement and are so expensive, that the customer resorted to dumping reports to text files, importing them into Access databases and running ad-hoc reports in Access.

    I'm with the comittee!

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  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    OK, my earlier comments

    were phrased, phormed and phomented along lines of project management.

    There is, however, a frame or reference that could make NHS IT a fair/middling to outstanding success.

    That frame of reference needs to consider the NHS as was (a critically underfunded amalgam of services using moderately dated [anyone remember F & G advising their citizens to return home for health care rather than visit a NHS hospital?] using hopelessly dated and underfunded methods of recording information with staff out of tune with more modern working methods.)

    From that frame of reference imposing change rather than evolving change (one can take about 5 years the other 50?) the present NHS IT infrastructure and staff participation in it can fairly be viewed as at least a moderate success.

    What will be interesting is first or second stage evolution (that is when change is effected within an organisation by synergies within itself)

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