News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Hospital trusts fined because they cannot spare staff to work on IT

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7554.1353-a (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1353
  1. Michael Cross
  1. London

    NHS trusts are “being fined millions of pounds” because they are unable to meet agreements to assign staff to information technology (IT) contractors who are working on the national programme for IT, Richard Bacon, a Conservative MP and member of the Public Accounts Committee said this week.

    The secondments were negotiated nationally as a way of ensuring that contractors understood NHS procedures, but many trusts have not complied, making themselves liable to penalty payments to contractors.

    These payments add up to £19m (€28m; $36m) in the south of England and £6.9m a year in the north west and west Midlands, ministers said in answers to parliamentary questions.

    “At a time when hard pressed NHS trusts are having to make painful choices in order to reduce deficits, they are being forced to pay money …

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