Government announces £700m of savings in the national IT programme for the NHS in England

Technology cuts
The programme has been controversial because of cost and delays

The government has announced £700m of savings in the national IT programme for the NHS in England, cutting the overall cost from £12.7bn to £11.4bn.

The cuts come on top of £600m of savings already announced by the previous government.

The programme was designed to create a national computer infrastructure for the health service.

It includes electronic booking of appointments, digital X-rays and electronic prescriptions.

Teething problems

In a statement the government says all its existing contracts for parts of the IT programme will be honoured.

The remaining parts – creating a fully computerised NHS in England – will be carried out locally.

That will allow individual hospitals to buy in computer systems as long as they are able to work with the existing national structure.

The IT programme for the NHS has at times been controversial because of its cost and delays.

Some hospital chief executives have complained about teething problems when systems were introduced, and the lack of local involvement in decision making.

Read more about NHS IT cuts HERE

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