BUDGET EXTRA: NHS IT prompts need for new audit
A report by NHS expert Derek Wanless calls for a new layer of auditing to be implemented to accompany the massive increase in NHS spending set for the next ten years.
Setting out financing recommendations for a wholly tax-funded NHS, Wanless – under a government commission – said annual spending on IT and buildings needed to more than double from £2.2bn to £5.5bn in 10 years, to make up for years of underspend.
Unsuccessful IT projects have dogged the government since it came to power, and the report said care must be taken to ensure the money was well spent.
‘To avoid duplication of effort and resources and to ensure the benefits of IT integration across health and social services is achieved, the review recommends stringent standards should be set at the centre to ensure that systems across the UK are fully compatible with each other,’ the report said.
It also proposed IT spending should be ringfenced by the government and the achievements audited.