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NHS IT needs overhaul, say Tories

Discussion in 'News' started by UKDarkstar, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    NHS IT needs overhaul, say Tories



    The Conservatives have said they would create huge cost savings for the NHS by scrapping plans for a central database of patient records.

    Their plans would include electronic medical notes being stored locally by GPs and hospitals and patients having online access to their medical records.

    They also say NHS trusts would have more choice over new computer systems.

    The government said patients were already benefiting from the progress that had been made in online records.

    Speaking on Sunday Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said proposals to allow NHS patients access to their records online would give people "greater control over their own health care".

    Every patient would have a username and password and IT firms such as Google or Microsoft could host the information.

    Users could update their medical records with information like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, he added.

    Behind schedule

    The £12bn NHS IT programme in England has been dogged by problems since its launch in 2002.

    It is the world's largest civilian IT project and aims to replace hundreds of different computer systems in hospitals and GP practices with new, compatible versions that will allow NHS staff anywhere in England to access patients' medical records.

    Full story : here
     
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Comments

    1. UKDarkstar
      UKDarkstar
      When are they all going to learn that these ultra-large IT projects never work ! Always over budget and completely mis-managed !
    2. danielno8
      danielno8
      ^ the question is why do they not work. Surely they should be able to work.
    3. UKDarkstar
      UKDarkstar
      Very true. Maybe the scope of the project isn't being defined properly of the people involved don't have the necessary skills.

      There's also a bit from the BCS about the NHS thing here as apparently they were mis-quoted
    4. Josiahb
      Josiahb
      "patients having online access to their medical records."

      with our governments well documented habit of losing important details how long does everyone give it before peoples patient records are accidentally published where everyone can see them?
    5. d_mcgrail
      d_mcgrail
      Having previously worked for the NHS and knowing the bidding that took part for the contracts initially I would blame the projects failure on trying to save money at the start.

      A number of leading companies were in for the bid and most had a great reputation however the contracts were passed to companies with a proven history of mismanagement and failed projects just to save costs.

      That is why they are still paying for it now and i have no doubt it would have been cheaper to employ the proven companies to run the projects.
    6. jk2447
      jk2447
      I can well imagine this to be true. Sometimes cutting costs from the start is a false economy IMO (like cheap bin bags :D)
    7. Meshan
      Meshan
      (Novice question time)

      Why is this such a problem

      Most development companies would jump at the chance to develop a system worth billions and probably quote a price up front

      I'm sure there are companies with proven track records up to the job too
    8. Colloghi
      Colloghi
      Having worked on one of the Local Service Provider desks for the NHS, and also having worked on the the National Service Desk for the NHS. Id like to say its a little unfair to focus the blame just on the mismangement of the companies, as the blame lies on all sides. Whilst I agree there are issues of mismangement, the company i worked for seemingly broke arms and legs to accomodate, the requirements of the NHS trusts, in my opinion...............until the contract ended.


      I still think the idea of a standardized system across the NHS is a great idea on paper and makes sense, but obivously the failings will always overshadow any positives and any potential postives to come out of the plans........
    9. Fergal1982
      Fergal1982
      Any company with a proven track record is generally capable at what they do because they employ good people who know what they are doing. Those people cost more then the average joe, and so the "proven" companies submit estimates/quotes that are higher than the cowboy companies.

      Places like the government/NHS, etc. Have a tendency to go for the lowest bidder in all scenarios, so the capable companies arent used in favour of the cowboys.
    10. Meshan
      Meshan
      :biggrin

      Ask a stupid question
    11. craigie
      craigie
      Local Authorities, NHS etc are *meant to use a tendering process. Where you bid on the proposed project.

      Each part of the project will have weighting e.g. cost, service delivery, software functionality etc.

      A Procurement Officer is the person who decides who is the best candidate based around the weighting of each part. This person is not allowed to be contacted and should not talk to any interested party.

      *But in saying that a nice dinner and a friendly whose your daddy hand shake commonly ends up winning the day.
    12. Gav
      Gav
      I personally think that a centralised database, if done correctly, would be a far better idea. I know it's against the conservative idea of a less central government, but then again, the NHS goes against the core ideas of conservatism anyway :rolleyes:

      A centralised database, in a centralised location with high security (the armed forces guarding it?), a team of ex-hackers protecting it around the clock from attack, access to the information allowed by biometric authentication only, access to information about patients that are not within their usual area to be flagged and checked immediately, etc etc.

      Yes, the initial costs would be large, but an efficient IT system would dramatically reduce costs across the board. In my local NHS Trust, there are almost as many administrators as there are medical staff. Not only that, there are at least two paper copies of my medical records, an electronic copy at my GPs, and a partial copy stored electronically in the hospital (that can be accessed by the GP remotely).

      Also, the Welsh and English NHS IT systems are totally separate... why? It's the same NHS, isn't it?
      Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
    13. Sparky
      Sparky
      No replicated off-site disaster recovery then? :eek:
    14. Gav
      Gav
      Yeah, that would come under 'etc' :biggrin
    15. DaveyB1981
      DaveyB1981

      I bought some cheap bin bags the other day...never again! (see, i learnt by it, how long will it take them?)


      Dave

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