PAC report on NPfIT
The media this morning seems full of comment about the financial status of the programme and relationships with suppliers. (see links below) This is not surprising given the remit of the committee, however there is less comment on the lack of clinical functionality in the systems being deployed and the effect of this on the expectations of clinical staff. In addition some important points are made about data security and confidentiality of patient records and the concerns health professionals and the public have about this.
The report says "The Department considers that the current levels of support [from staff] reflect the fact that for many staff the benefits of the Programme are still theoretical," and comments on the requirements on staff to change how they work with little or no consultation.
The tension between the role of suppliers who are responsible for the security of the systems themselves, and NHS organisations and staff who are responsible for keeping secure any data they access are briefly explored. The report also points out "Access to the Care Records Service is controlled through Smartcards and passcodes, though these are not yet in use in all Trusts because early releases of the care records software in London and the South do not support them and the Trusts concerned therefore continue to rely on passwords." The change in the consent model adopted for the sharing of patient records to a "Consent to View" approach is also mentioned.
I hope to post some more thoughts when I've had time to read the report in full.
Further comment and analysis is available from:
BBC News - Warning over fresh NHS IT delays
Times Online - MPs point to 'further delays and turmoil' for £12.4 billion NHS computer upgrade
EHealth Insider - PAC gives NPfIT six months to deliver CRS
HSJ - NHS Confed calls for IT programme overhaul
Public Technology.net - MPs' recommendations to improve NHS IT - in full
Public Technology.net - Harsh MP committee report condemns NHS National Programme for IT