The Commons Public Accounts Committee has ordered a second full review of the NHS IT programme to be carried out public spending watchdog the National Audit Office, to check that the recommendations of its report into the NHS IT project are followed.

Chairman of the PAC Edward Leigh said he planned to "call the Government’s bluff" after health minister Lord Hunt said that the Government was already acting on the PAC’s recommendations.

Last week’s PAC report provided a detailed highly critical analysis of the management and progress of the £12.4bn programme which said "suppliers are struggling to deliver" shared electronic medical records and made recommendations including a call for an urgent independent review and annual review of progress.

The government responded last week by saying many of the recommendations were already being acted on, adding that the report was based on out of date information, based on last summer’s NAO report. This despite the PAC taking detailed new evidence and calling its own witnesses.

Speaking in the Commons on 19 April, Edward Leigh, chair of the PAC, said: "I notice that the Government’s response this week says, "Well, excellent report by the PAC, but we’re doing all this—it’s an out-of-date report.

"I am going to call the Government’s bluff. I have talked to the Comptroller and Auditor General about the matter and, following my encouragement, we are to have another NAO report on the NHS computer in the next year so that we can have an update to check whether all the excellent recommendations of the NAO and the PAC on this £12 billion computer system—that amount is equivalent to the entire cost of the Olympic games—are being carried out."


PAC says NPfIT suppliers are ‘struggling to deliver’

PAC report brings brickbats and bouquets for NPfIT