NHS ‘could waste millions’ upgrading technology systems

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has issued a new report in which it argues that current NHS IT modernization efforts are too expensive and will not deliver value for money. 

According to the BBC, the 2014 digital transformation initiative, which has since been moved back a few years and “watered down”, has neither a detailed plan, proper governance, nor sufficient investment to make it a reality.

To make matters even worse, the idea of making a Covid-19 contact-tracing app, the development of which could cost up to $48 million, could prove a total failure.

According to the committee chair, Meg Hillier, the NHS is about to repeat old mistakes. “Instead the government presses on with expensive and unproven strategies and contracts that cost the taxpayer millions but don’t deliver,” she said.

According to the BBC, one of the main issues with modernizing the NHS is the “wide variety” of IT systems used by different parts of the health service. Many of these systems are unable to talk to each other, meaning hospitals often struggle to share medical images or scans with GPs.

The report warns that if the NHS wants to enable a truly digital experience, its IT system must be interoperable.

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