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Government announces end of NHS IT programme—for second time

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6125 (Published 26 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6125
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

For the second time in a year the UK government has announced the end of the £12bn (€13.7bn; $18.5bn) programme to computerise the NHS in England.

However, the announcement offers no detail on how the Department of Health will extricate itself from troubled information technology (IT) contracts. It also implies that large parts of the programme will remain intact.

In a statement apparently leaked to daily newspapers the department said that the government “had announced an acceleration of the dismantling” of the NHS National Programme for IT. It noted that the programme “was created in 2002 under the last government” and that a review by the Cabinet Office’s new Major Projects Authority had concluded that the programme is “not fit to provide the modern IT services that the NHS needs.”

The review was launched after a devastating report by the National Audit Office into the most …

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