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MPs moot cancellation of entire £11.4bn NHS IT programme

BULLETIN: PAC to demand NHS explains why failed programme should continue

The powerful Public Accounts Committee has revealed it is considering whether to recommend the prime minister cancel the NHS National Programme for IT.

Following today's publication of a tough report by the National Audit Office, which said the programme was failing on its clinical ambitions and would not deliver value for money, PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge said the MPs on the committee were "deeply" concerned about the project.

In a series of hearings beginning on Monday, Hodge said the PAC will "question officials on whether the programme should be stopped, even at this late stage".

"We cannot and will not sit back and allow more public money to be spent with ever diminishing returns," she said.

The PAC hearings will coincide with the beginning of an in-depth investigation by the Major Projects Authority, an office of the Treasury tasked with ruling on the future of large programmes. The prime minister last week stated no more deals would be signed with suppliers before these reviews were considered.

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