Reviews of the National Programme for IT (UK NHS)

Reviews of the National Programme for IT have been made available under the freedom of information act:

In response to a FOI request it has received, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has agreed to disclose its Gateway reviews of the National Programme for IT.

These relate to issues which were examined through the Gateway Process at key decision points in order to provide assurance that they should progress to the next stage.

The purpose of Gateway reviews is to challenge assumptions and explore any perceived weaknesses. They are expected to be critical of certain aspects.

This is part of best government practice and has meant that the NPfIT has been able to assess which activities needed to change and which issues should be addressed.

The reviews cover a period between 2002 and 2007. Given that the material is older than two years, it has been possible to make public almost all of the content, with the exception of certain personal information covered by the exemption at Section 40 of the Act. The Department of Health has agreed that the reviews should be made public via the NHS Connecting for Health website.

Read the reviews here.

NHS to tender for alternatives to iSoft and Cerner

e-Health Insider is reporting that the NHS is going to tender for alternatives to iSoft and Cerner for the National Programme for IT.

You can watch the full video of the Health Select Committee here:

They discuss the NPfIT at around 43 minutes in.

HC 2008: Harrogate

HC 2008 in Harrogate is taking place on 21-23 April.

A 3 day conference and exhibition for everyone involved in handling and managing information in healthcare. Matthew Swindells, Department of Health’s acting chief information officer, has been confirmed as the opening speaker at HC2008. He is expected to talk in his keynote presentation on the strategic role of information in the NHS, and, in particular, the part it plays in supporting and delivering changes described in the interim ‘Darzi review’.


UK’s Map of Medicine Acquired

Congratulations to Map of Medicine’s founders Owen Epstein and Mike Stein and their team:

Hearst Corporation today announced the acquisition of U.K.-based Map of Medicine, a leading provider of evidence-based health-care resources designed to help health practitioners make sound decisions by following accessible clinical information on a range of relevant medical issues. The announcement was made by Victor F. Ganzi, president & CEO, Hearst Corporation, and Richard P. Malloch, president of Hearst Business Media. Map of Medicine, formerly owned by Informa plc, will be managed in London as a separate operating unit (Map of Medicine, a UK limited company) of Hearst Business Media.

Read more on CNN Money

Sir Muir Gray on the Map of Medicine:

NHS Spine to be Shutdown for 2 Days

NHS Connecting for Health services that use the ‘Spine’ such as Choose and Book and GP2GP will be out of action for a planning maintenance period from 9-11 of Novemeber:

The agency said the upgrades did not represent a complete replacement of the Spine. “The exercise is solely an uplift of the database management hardware and software. The application code and functionality of the Spine remain unchanged. The change will be transparent to users,” said a spokesperson.

BT says the upgrade, which includes a refresh of the Spine software and hardware, is required in order to “enable a more automated, faster and surer failover process and continuing levels of quality support.”

Source: E-Health Insider

Two Thirds of Bolton GPs Want to Scrap Summary Care Records

Article in Pulse about a recent survey of GPs in Bolton, UK:

Two-thirds of GPs in the first area to adopt the Government’s controversial Summary Care Record want to scrap the project, Pulse has learnt.

Plans to roll out the scheme in Bolton, Lancashire, are already three months behind schedule.

But now an LMC survey shows most of the town’s GPs are opposed to forging ahead with uploading patients’ details and sharing them with local hospitals.

The LMC said GP opposition remained despite months of Connecting for Health road shows and events aimed at winning them over.

Ninety-eight of the town’s 169 GPs responded to the survey. Just 20 respondents were in favour of forging ahead with the Care Record while 67 were against.

So far, 8 practices in the town have uploaded their patient details but the Summary Care Record has yet to be deployed in unscheduled care.

Dr Chris Woods, a member of Bolton LMC, said: ‘It’s a statistically useful survey and it seems to point to the fact that the majority of doctors don’t want it.’

Dr Bernard Newgrosh, a GP at Great Lever health centre in the town, said he was ‘totally against’ the project.. Some 166 of his patients have already opted out of having a Summary Care Record – even though his practice is not tak-ing part.

‘A girl came to see me practically on the first day of this thing and asked if her termination of pregnancy was in her record. She said she was ‘dead meat’ if details of the termination got out.’

Bolton PCT admitted the project had caused ‘a degree of controversy’ among GPs.

Dr Gillian Braunold, clinical director for the summary care record and a GP in Kilburn, north London, claimed a ‘critical mass’ of GPs were already on board with 34 of the town’s 57 practices signed up.

‘I met 40 of them on Wednesday who were very happy,’ she said.

The PCT had hoped to start using the records for unsched-uled care in July and in the out-of-hours service by late September but the project has been delayed.

Chris Russ, assistant director of IM&T at Bolton PCT, blamed the slow progress on key staff being away over the summer holidays but insisted: ‘The PCT now plans to introduce access to the out of hours service shortly, which will be followed by the walk-in centre and A&E at the Royal Bolton Hospital..’