Untimely cut on NHS IT system in pre-Budget report

UCL quad + UCH
Image by G’n’L photos via Flickr

The latest move in Whitehall to claw back some of the huge amounts of money spent to save the banking system and tackle the recession, is to reduce funding and scope of the NHS IT system.

Now, this has definitely not been a perfect project, with delays, imperfect implementation and large costs. However, results are beginning to bear fruit. Most hospitals have digital radiology (X-rays, CT, MRI, etc…). Nearly all GP practices are computerised. Hospitals that are hooked onto the main computer system can now request scans + tests all online, resulting in huge time savings. The initial interface is constantly being modfied to increase functionality, and finally staff are becoming familiar with its workings (which itself improves efficiency).

In view of the above, it seems incredibly short-sighted to pull the plug on this long-term and promising project. Then again, long-term sentiments don’t win short-term elections…

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