NHS IT market set to defy NPfIT gloom

In spite of negative comment about the abandoned National Programme for IT in the NHS and general gloom in the public sector, England’s hospitals are set to increase their spend on IT over the next three years.

The first Market Forecast Report, published by EHI Intelligence, calculates that local NHS trust spending on information technology is set to rise by 3.7% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next three years.

This will take the total size of the locally-determined English NHS hospital and mental health trust IT market to £883m by 2014-15.

The EHI Intelligence 2011 NHS IT Market Forecast Report provides the most detailed analysis available of the NHS IT market available. 

It combines: a comprehensive financial model for NHS IT; detailed interviews with IT directors and vendors; and analysis and predictions of policy and market trends

Paul Smith, director of EHI Intelligence, said: “The first NHS IT Market Forecast Report shows that despite the dismantling of the NHS IT programme, local NHS trusts are maintaining - and in many cases increasing - their local spending on clinical and business IT to address the challenges of productivity, quality and reform.”

Smith added: “The NHS IT market is rapidly opening up, presenting new opportunities for suppliers that can demonstrate value for money, prove return on investment and have a track record of delivery.”

Some trusts are pursuing strategic IT projects to achieve greater gains in delivering patient care and making the organisation run more efficiently. Others are less committed or convinced. Three broad approaches are identified in the report:

“Innovators” are trusts that see the real value of information technology and are pursuing strategic IT projects in support of greater trust goals.

“Make do and menders” are trusts that are investing in essential IT upgrades and bolt-ons, working hard to keep existing systems going and adding tactically to their IT estate as and when they can.

“Laggards” are trusts that see little option in the short term other than to hunker down, defer investments and extend maintenance and service contracts, eking out IT budgets and accepting cutbacks, however reluctantly.

Among this segment are trusts who may have implicitly accepted that they will inevitably be taken over by larger and more financially secure organisations.

The report gives a detailed analysis of spending in different areas including: hardware, software, IT services, communications and staffing. It also offers a forecast of the spending due under the multi-billion pound NPfIT on projects and services due to continue after the main programme winds down.

The report is available as part of an annual subscription to the EHI Intelligence service, which also includes access to: the NHS Trust IT Database, the missing map of NHS IT; procurement alerts; the EHI Intelligence Quarterly Insight report and unlimited support.

The EHI Intelligence 2011 NHS IT Market Forecast Report is also available for purchase from EHI directly for £1,995 per copy. ehiintelligence@e-health-media.com

The EHI Intelligence Market Forecast Report will be the focus of a session at EHI Live 2011, which opens this morning at the NEC in Birmingham.

Last updated: 7 November 2011 16:11

Jon Hoeksma

7 November 2011

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