PracticeConsultingNPfIT could stunt further IT spending

NPfIT could stunt further IT spending

The Department of Health has been urged to clarify the funding arrangements for the national programme for IT, and how they will affect further investment in ICT projects by NHS trusts.

Link: Xansa set to win £250m NHS deal

ICT lobby group Intellect is concerned that, without clarification over how the programme is funded, NHS trusts could be left without enough resources to fund other technology projects.

These concerns will be amplified if the programme runs over its £6bn budget, as reports have suggested, by up to three times.

James Drewer, healthcare programme manager for Intellect, said: ‘Without clarification it will remain unclear to what extent the NHS trusts will financially contribute towards the NPfIT and, crucially, what resources they will have left after any such commitment to concentrate on IT projects that fall outside the NPfIT core services remit.’

Drewer said that while there was a ‘lot of extra money for IT’ in the NHS at the moment, he was worried about how much would be ‘left in the pot’ for other IT services that the NHS requires ð such as funds to procure the new hospital equipment that will link with the new core service systems currently under development.

‘If the core services cost much too much, then the NHS won’t be able to look outside of the businesses working on them for the provision of additional services.

‘Having greater competition is for the best.’

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