Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NHS Supercomputer- Denobbling The Nobblers

The Comptroller and Auditor General of choice

We blogged the NAO Report on the NHS Supercomputer here. Given the disastrous nature of the whole enterprise, it was surprising the report was not more critical, and at yesterday’s packed Public Accounts Committee meeting, MPs quizzed the NAO’s head, the splendidly titled Comptroller and Auditor General Sir John Bourn, on why that might be.

Bluntly, had the NAO been nobbled by the Department of Health? All NAO reports have to be agreed with the department concerned, and the PAC Chairman said he’d heard this one had been fought over “street by street, block by block”. Another highlighted Nicholas Timmin’s assessment in the FT that it had been “the fiercest Whitehall battle for years". And listening to Richard Granger, the pugnacious husky killer who runs the project, you could easily see how that might happen.

Sir John, a dry old stick in the finest auditing traditions, played a very straight bat. He’d done his duty, and he wasn’t responsible for what journos might say. And actually, after two and a half hours of questions, denobbling as required, it became clear his report is deeply critical:

  • The whole project has been imposed from the top, starting with that notorious Blair "summit" in 2002. NHS clinicians were never consulted, and their principal champions at the DH (Professor Peter Hutton and Dr Anthony Nowlan) were dismissed after they'd refused to play ball with an outrageous post-hoc spin exercise
  • Support among GPs especially is still very low, despite furious DH backpedalling on their "one-size" plan, and some hastily cobbled measures supposedly going to safeguard patient confidentiality; as Doc Crippen keeps saying, GPs are quite happy with their existing computerised systems
  • Although this is the biggest civilian IT project ever, there was no serious cost-benefit analysis to support it. The government committed to a massive expenditure without quantifying the supposed benefits. And they still can't show the benefits will exceed the costs
  • The costs are way higher than originally advertised. That's because the now estimated £6.2bn spend on the central core project takes no account of the massive local spending on implementation. If all goes to plan, the NAO puts the total at £12.4bn. But Lord Warner puts it at £20bn, and others have put it as high as £50 bn. The bottom line is that nobody knows, and the financial burden on local health authorities is open-ended
  • The guts of the system-the National Care Records System- is two years behind schedule and is not working; boasting about all the peripheral gimmicks they have put in is so much flim-flam: email is hardly new technology
  • Although the DH has managed to procurement process well, inasmuch as it had properly competitive tendering and fixed price contracts, because of all the usual problems between IT customers and suppliers, as the problems have mounted, the hard-pressed suppliers are biting back: Fujitsu have already fined the NHS £19m for failing to provide sufficient support, and Accenture's lawyers are doubtless hard at work on recouping their $450m hit.

Overall, we were left with the same picture: this massive programme has been imposed on our battered NHS by pig-headed commissars and husky killers who are convinced they have "The Answer", and will use all means at their disposal- including our money- to drive it through. Cowards and rumour mongers will be shot!

Our advice remains the same: keep up those BUPA payments and be sure to ask your GP for a hard-copy print out of your medical record.


  1. thuoc bo nao dành cho mọi lứa tuổi, muốn tăng cường trí nhớ. Vigrx Plus thuốc tăng kích thước cậu bé hiệu quả nhất dành cho nam giới. Đọc thêm bài viết để biết thêm thông tin vigrx plus co tot khong

    Sản phẩm mới của nhật bản thuốc đông trùng hạ thảo tenken cho sức khỏe bền bỉ theo năm tháng. Những loại sâm điều trị chứng mãn dục ở nam giới và hỗ trợ sắc đẹp cũng như sinh lý cho nam lẫn nữ được nhiều chuyên gia khuyên dùng là sâm alipas, Sâm angela. Nếu có như cầu xin liên hệ đến chúng tôi "Muathuoctot". Chúng tôi còn cung cấp nhiều mặt hàng khác dùng để bổ trợ cho sức khỏe như: calcium+600mg+++d3 , sữa rửa mặt neutrogena , thuốc elevit cho bà bầu.

  2. Bạn cần giao hàng nhanh cho khách. Bạn là chủ shop bạn muốn ship hàng nhanh cho khách hàng của bạn thì phải làm thế nào.
    Có nhà cung cấp nào làm ăn uy tín tuân theo quy trình giao nhận hàng hóa chuyên nghiệp như giá cả lại hợp lý và tốc độ phải nhanh. Hãy đến với chúng tôi, Proship chúng tôi đang cung cấp rất nhiều dịch vụ vận chuyển giao hàng.
    Có thể kể đến như dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng đi campuchia, ký gửi hàng hóa, cho thuê xe tải chở hàng và còn rất nhiều dịch vụ.

  3. Mất ngủ là bệnh phổ biến hiện nay và bất cứ ai cũng có thể mắc phải và những bà bầu cũng không thoát khỏi cảnh bị bệnh mất ngủ . mất ngủ có ảnh hưởng đến thai nhi không là câu hỏi được nhiều người hỏi. Vậy nguyên nhân mất ngủ khi mang thaihay buồn ngủ là bệnh gì. Vậy có cách chữa bệnh mất ngủ hiệu quả nhất , cách trị chứng mất ngủ hiệu quả và an toàn nhất . Cùng đi tìm hiểu nhé.