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New campaign to encourage use of national IT programme begins

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 19 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:139
  1. Michael Cross
  1. London

    A new drive has been launched to persuade clinicians to support the multibillion pound computerisation programme of the NHS in England. The initiative comes as a survey by the polling company Medix shows continuing scepticism among doctors over the national programme for IT—key systems of which experienced a technical breakdown over Christmas and the new year.

    The survey's finding came just as the “choose and book” system was launched. This system allows a GP to refer a patient for elective treatment at another centre via a computer system (thus booking the appointment direct from the surgery). The new service was not available, however, on the day that the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, formally launched the government's Patient Choice reform in the NHS. The underlying network had a spate of problems between 18 December and 4 January which affected the electronic booking …

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