» Friday, June 16, 2006

NHS IT Projects

Asked about the NAO report on the NHS IT project and press reports of overspending, the PMOS highlighted several points in the NAO report. It said that the NHS computer system was much needed and it was well managed. It was based on excellent contracts and because of that fact it had saved £6bn. It was delivering major savings. It was on budget at £12.4bn and had made substantial progress. In other words the NAO had confirmed that the cost of the program had not overrun. Instead the IT system would provide much needed coherence for the first time on how the NHS used it records, x-rays and bookings. All of which could not be done as efficiently and effectively as possible with the current system. It would deliver for the first time real choice based on real information for patients up and down the country. Put that it was meant to cost £6bn but Lord Warner had said it was going to cost £12bn, the PMOS said that Lord Warner had been talking about the overall NHS IT budget, which if you added together the frontline services programme, meaning the x-rays, bookings and records, and the backroom costs, meaning personnel etc, this was what Lord Warner had been referring to as £12.4bn. The NAO report was specifically talking about the frontline service so reports of costs in the £20bn region were just flat wrong as the report indicated. It said actually said that the NHS had saved £6bn because of the good contract.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

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