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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moorfields, Open Source and the NPfIT

We really enjoyed this article from the Guardian Healthcare Network this morning (well worth signing up to their newsletter) which looks at open source in action at Moorfields and includes some choice comments on the National Programme for IT:

The recent emergence of OpenEyes is especially pertinent in light of the ongoing problems of the National Programme for IT's care records service, which has faced repeated severe criticism from MPs and the National Audit Office. "NHS IT is in a very parlous state," says Aylward, who spent eight years as medical director at Moorfields prior to his current role. "It's fragmented, it's not fit for purpose and it's not maximising its potential. Particularly at this point in time, when we've got lots of changes like producing outcomes data, checking patient records and the problems of paper notes, audit, research and revalidation, all of this is difficult."

Reflecting on the failures of the National Programme and the future of NHS IT, Aylward said: "I think the commercial model is not one that is suitable to deliver it in my view, or at least it's had its chance and failed. If you throw £11bn at a problem and commercial companies give it their best shot and fail, that's telling you something."

This chimes with our current view that the NHS and DoH need to focus on developing the technical and intellectual capacity of their informatics capabilities in-house rather than forever outsourcing and lining the silk pockets of consultancies and external specialists who can currently name their price...


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