Notorious NHS IT refresh to be ‘scaled back’

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”.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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