The government is planning to scale back the scope of its disastrous NHS IT modernisation project as part of its scheme to cut the country’s £175 billion budget deficit.
“The NHS had a quite expensive IT system that, frankly, isn’t essential to the front line,” said Chancellor Alastair Darling on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning. “It’s something I think we don’t need to go ahead with just now.”
Last month, a Tory think tank ranked the NPfIT scheme as the biggest project failure of the present Labour government, citing estimates that the project will have over run its budget by 450% to £10.4 billion by the time it is complete.
Such is the scale of the country’s budgetary deficit, however, that Andrew Marr described NPfIT as “small beer”.