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MPs question health chiefs over troubled NHS computer programme

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3298
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

Cancelling the NHS’s multibillion pound information technology (IT) contracts might cost more than continuing with the troubled £11bn programme to computerise health records in England, NHS chiefs warned this week.

In a turbulent hearing of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, and Christine Connelly, chief information officer at the Department of Health, told openly sceptical MPs that contracts with “local service providers” signed by the previous government were delivering results—and that cancellation might cost hundreds of millions of pounds in penalties and transition arrangements.

The committee was taking evidence on a highly critical report by the National …

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