NAO report to critise NHS plans

A leaked copy of a report on the NHS IT upgrade plans from the Government watchdog reveals concerns that the national programme will not meet its goals

A long-awaited report on the NHS by the National Audit Office (NAO) is expected to criticise the Government's plans for the modernisation of the health service and the progress made so far in implementing the £6.2bn NHS IT programme.

According to reports, a transcript of a House of Commons public accounts committee meeting revealed that the report by the NAO's comptroller and auditor general, Sir John Bourn, will set out the failures of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

At the meeting, Sir John criticised the project saying that it had failed to win the "hearts and minds" of NHS staff including doctors, nurses and administrators, according to a leaked copy of the report published in Computer Weekly.

Sir John's remark came in an exchange with Conservative MP Richard Bacon, who asked if hospital trusts were going to have to cover the costs of local implementation of the NPfIT even where these systems were not wanted.

In response, Sir John said that his report had two main themes, one focusing on the technical areas underlying NHS IT and the second which was that "all the things that you say, which is the failure to take the people in the National Health Service with the system".

The report is due to be released this summer.

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