Darling 'to shelve NHS IT system"

  peter99co 12:08 06 Dec 09
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the "quite expensive" programme, which has been hit by problems and delays, could be axed to save cash.

It has taken a long time to come to this decision.

What a waste!

  johndrew 13:06 06 Dec 09

A bit like the banks and Government security really. Now the money has been `redistributed` and all the personal data has been sent to the ends of the earth for input to a database and we can no longer get any of either back; just walk away. After all, few if any will ever actually be able to prove their personal information has been sold!!!

  peter99co 14:54 06 Dec 09
  morddwyd 19:53 06 Dec 09

Like everyone else, I'm aware of the problems with this system, but to be fair it has good points.

The last time I called NHS 24 about my wife's serious pain, at around 10.00pm, having asked my postcode and my wife's DoB the advisor had her full medical history in seconds with details of all her ongoing conditions, including a history of strokes, and her medication.

She (the advisor) stayed on the line with me monitoring my wife's condition and symptoms, and eliminating various things.

Not only did this fill me with confidence, but by the time the ambulance arrived the crew had eeb fully briefed with "the story so far".

If it works, it works.

  oresome 20:21 06 Dec 09

The paper based patients records involves warehouses storing the data and a transport fleet that has to move the records from hospital to hospital as patients with multiple ailments attend various clinics. Hardly a satisfactory arrangement and many records get misplaced as a result.

It's a sad fact that we seem poor at scoping the magnitude of IT projects and implementing them to a time and cost budget. This is the type of work, requiring a highly skilled workforce, that we should excel at given the loss of our manufacturing industries and the need to replace them with something that can't be undertaken with cheaper labour elsewhere.

  Awshum 09:05 07 Dec 09

That's not new technology it's called a secretary and a mobile phone with an unlimted text allowance.

Or it can be done via a mobile operator's website.

I'm surprised that GPs didn't come up with this themselves, most other places do it, so it's not new technology or a new idea.

  interzone55 09:16 07 Dec 09

My wife's medical records currently make a pile about 3 feet high, and she's only 39.

She is currently visiting specialists in 3 different hospitals, so the whole pile of paperwork has to be shifted from place to place on a regular basis.

It's a total waste of time and resources. By computerising the whole system to NHS will quickly recover the cost and start saving money.

The problem with the implementation lies with the civil servants managing the project.

If anyone has built a database, or been part of a software roll-out team you'll know that a system needs to be fully designed before you start to write the software. If you make changes whilst the software is being written it can have all sorts of unforeseen consequences.

The NHS database is constantly being amended by various politicians, civil servants and consultants who all want to be seen to be making contributions to the project. This means that the bulk of what is a very worthy project has been doomed to be a very expensive failure from the very beginning...

  AL47 10:02 07 Dec 09

i hate waste, its so easy to do when its not youre money, the dome, the nimrod carriers, this super computer, this government is useless at cost estimation..

ok gordon, ill build you a powerplant that produces zero emissions in 2 years.. 3 years later.. ah you owe me £1million, and weve still got 5 years to go,, nevermind

ah well, the USA have spent $1trillion on the war, tragic

  gengiscant 10:44 07 Dec 09

As someone who has recently requested and eventually received my hospital records because of concerns in my treatment for throat cancer, I have first hand experience of the mess that the records are kept.

I received them in two bundles because part of my treatment was by another NHS authority, even though they were duplicated in my main treatment center.

The records were not in any sort of order, chronological or otherwise. I had an opportunity to look at the originals, they were much the same.

We then have the hand written notes which in most cases were illegible, now the drugs used in chemo therapy are very dangerous, one has to be careful in handling,using the toilet following chemo therapy etc, add that to radiation treatment and the ability to be able to read written notes becomes essential.

Prior to submitting my complaint of some aspects of my treatment I am trying to get answers from the powers that be why records in the 21st century are kept in this atrocious form. So far I have had nothing more than the usual vague promises of impending improvements and/or the usual political non answers we have come to expect from our money grabbing political masters.

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