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NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

A report in Computer Weekly details the scrapping of the "Choose and Book" outpatient booking system. It's being replaced because GP's and Outpatient clinics were not using it fully (iro 50%) for bookings.
There'll be a new system.
...The department of health is considering making it compulsory for GPs to use the replacement system and introducing an incentive and penalty scheme for doctors and hospitals.
Another example of trying to get the independent Partnerships (GPs) to use a common NHS system going wrong. It is like herding cats.
I wonder what our resident defender of the NHS Establishment will have to say about this latest C***-up?
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
9 REPLIES
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

Cool My Doctor's practice had a prescription renewal system. It worked. Worked well. So, it was replaced with a better system provided by a third party in association with the local NHS Trust. it sucked. Sucked so bad, they soon had to replace it with a new system. The NHS Trust are "really excited" with their new system. It looks remarkably like the original system.
Public Sector IT is contaminated with too many people who have zero idea of the problem and, too many people who et rich knowing they will never have to deliver before the Health Minister de Jour scraps the project. In the private sector, bad contractors are black listed, but in the world of public sector IT, the same useless contractors are re-hired to burn public money, again. But they do-do a nice Powerpoint presentation.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

The online system recently introduced by Mum's surgery for prescription repeats does not offer the chance to order online items that are "to be reviewed". So with several items regularly ordered there is a good chance that one or more of them will have to be requested on paper each month.  If one is going to have to submit the request for those items on paper one may as well submit all repeat requests on paper so little use for the online system. I know that typically a "to be reviewed" item can take a little longer for the prescription to be authorised but if one can request such items by ticking a paper form why not an online form?
I don't know if its the system or the way the surgery has set it up.
nanotm
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

my local practice used the emis online system for prescriptions and requesting gp appointments rather than the previously working calendar request system via there website, the new system has corrupted all the data sets used to create logins so nobody can login and use it 3 times before it was binned and all appointments are via phone or in person request now, there looking at a "new system later this month" ......total crock of s***
much like scrapping the various burocracy within the NHS trust's only to replace it with overpaid underworked GP's who vote to give themselves more cash per patient etc and unfund various other activities ......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

Clearly those running the NHS never learn, I recall many years ago one health authority in the south of England purchased a computer system for £15 million, the to purchase was made by the CEO, Chairman and a friend of theirs who was a computer expert who worked for a local IT firm,
Following  the purchase they were then told that software would be required but none existed for the things they were told the computer could do, the computer equipment remained in its boxes for the next 18 months and was eventually sold of for a fraction of the original purchase price.
A Government enquiry was held and chairman admitted neither himself or the CEO knew nothing about IT and instead of getting an independent expert in had relied on their friend for advice, when asked about the loss of most of the £15 million the Chairmanship reply was "It was unfortunate"
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-12-2013

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

I am surprised so many people havent clicked into whats going on yet.
The reason the nhs spends so much money on IT projects is so public money can go into private hands, someone will be getting rich from these projects.
nanotm
Pro
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

that sounds like the debacle at Winchester hospital where they brought in the monstrously simple wand reader +touch screen computer system complete with the perfect patient record software and installed all the terminals across the hospital for a few million quid without having bought the server to run them off nor the training package to teach staff how to create the records for the patients nor how to use the system......its main selling point when purchased was its ability to monitor the linkable equipment (heart rate monitors etc) and be able to alert staff to any problems...
and they forgot to buy the new equipment it would work with, the total cost to the NHS was in excess of 100 million by the time it finally got scrapped and replaced with something far simpler based on a standard PC type product which all the staff were able to use without any specialist training .......total cost was another 50 million .......
but then again that was over a decade ago and there still using the exact same XP based system now so it'll probably cost them another few hundred million to swap to some open source offering before rebuying new systems based on windows 7 or 8x in another year or two .....

@chrcoluk
that's what was happening with all the MOD funding that never got spent properly for over a decade, they hired a bunch of pricey accountants and clawed back more than a hundred million of incorrectly billed monies.....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

As a person with a history of successfully implementing IT projects I'm seriously thinking of forming a group of similar professionals to offer pro-bono (well maybe expenses only)  services to the NHS. The constant massive over-runs/failed projects are outrageous.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
nanotm
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Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

your contract bids wouldn't get off the ground if you don't have an outrageously low support contract period and an overly high initial rollout price......apparently if your a better priced more reasonable contractor your not providing "best value for money service to the tax payer"
it always used to wind me up when new bidders who had a mate on the board would put in really low estimate bids and then ramp up the costs to way over the odds once the contract was awarded .....and that was for things like supplying nuts n bolts, when it came to expensive items it all depended who could bribe the most members of the select committee and that was generally Marconi or BAE (despite them bother offering substandard equipment) it took more than 10 years for most of the problems to be pushed out of the door, but at the same time the NHS procurement system went from being centralised to each trust (and in some cases each department) working out what it was going to buy and where it was going to buy it from often at vastly inflated prices ......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: NHS Wastes another £356 Million on a computer System

Cool Cash is hoarded in the 'service contract' element. A winning contract comes in at 50% of everyone elses reasonable bids - the civil servant pats his pension on the back and tells the minister he has saved a massive 50! - but in the small print the contract comes with a rolling support contract for ten years yielding 10,000% over the budget guestimate. Meanwhile the meat of the contract reads, functionality to be decided. Welcome to the meltdown.