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Purchase of Read codes heavily criticised by National Audit Office

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7135.881d (Published 21 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:881
  1. Douglas Carnall
  1. BMJ

    There were “serious problems” with the purchase of the Read codes by the NHS Executive, and “substantial weaknesses” in the subsequent management arrangements, according to a report published by the National Audit Office last week.

    The development of the codes is an integral part of the NHS's plans to link hospitals and general practices together on computer networks. The report said that the NHS Executive created a situation with potential conflicts of interest when it agreed both to employ Dr James Read, the inventor of the codes, as the director of the new Centre for Coding and Classification, and to allow a company wholly owned by him, Computer Aided Medical Systems (CAMS), to have exclusive rights to the marketing of the codes.

    The auditor …

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