Thursday, 26 May 2011

IT schemes and shared services

A salutary warning for Scotland on the risk of large scale IT projects from south of the border.

The NHS's National Programme for IT is an £11.4bn project which has delivered some good things, but which according to the National Audit Office (NAO) - will not deliver on its central aim of making a detailed local care record available to local hospitals where a patient may well be treated, or making a Summary National Care Record available across England, for use when someone needs urgent treatment away from home.

The BBC's Mark D'Arcy gives an entertaining account of the Public Accounts Committee grilling of the NHS in England's chief executive Sir David Nicholson and the private contractors Sheri Thureen of CSC, and Patrick O'Connell the president of BT Health.

Why is this important for Scotland? There are large scale shared IT services planned in the Clyde Valley project and elsewhere. We are also expecting the McClelland review of public sector IT infrastructure soon.

As we have said before about public service reform - bigger is not always better and that holds for IT as well.

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