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NHS dismisses calls for IT review

Computer experts fail in latest attempt to force the National Programme for IT to launch an independent review
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

A group of IT academics has failed in its latest request to instigate an independent review into the NHS's National Programme for IT.

Last October the group of 23 computer experts claimed urgent action was needed to put the £12bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT) back on track, with their spokesperson, Oxford University visiting professor Martyn Thomas, warning that the project was set to fail. Nothing came of their demands.

Now, according to Computer Weekly, their latest attempt to instigate a review has failed.

Speaking at an NPfIT event last week, Thomas said the academic group had "technical concerns about the system architecture, the security policies, the system usability, the clinical coding standards, and other technical aspects". The group wants an independent review to be conducted to ensure that the programme remains on track and meets the needs of medical professionals.

But the NHS's chief executive David Nicholson turned down the academics' latest challenge, after Thomas called for an independent review within two weeks. Nicholson denied that NPfIT was "wildly off course" and said there was "no evidence which would lead me to believe there is a need for an independent review of the programme".

The much-criticised NPfIT programme, which was been through a raft of supplier and budgetary issues, is the largest civilian IT project in the world.



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