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Hospital chief slams £12bn NHS IT system

Staff 'incredibly disappointed' with records system

The chief executive of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead has slammed the new £12bn NHS computer system, claiming fewer patients can be seen than before.

According to Andrew Way, staff at the hospital are "incredibly disappointed" with a trial of a new computerised medical records system, which began last summer. The new system will link 3,000 GPs to 300 hospitals and allow a patient's medical history to be shared between those using the system. It will also offer an online booking system and e-prescriptions.

Way told the BBC: "I think it is very disappointing that the work we had to do as a trust has caused our staff so much heartache and hard work. I had been led to believe it would all work".

Way also revealed the hospital spent £4m on getting the system working. However, Way also estimated it had lost a further £6m because fewer patients were being seen and system problems meant the hospital could not bill the NHS for work it had completed.

"We are learning lessons from the deployment at the Royal Free of Cerner Millennium (the new computer system) and we expect these lessons to help us improve further deployments, said a Department of Health spokesman.

See also: NHS Mytob attack was entirely avoidable


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