A leading consortium has called for a £1 billion IT stimulus package from central government to overhaul IT services in local government, health and education in order to cut carbon emissions and create savings.
Steve Palmer, president of SOCITM, told E-Health Insider: “We are not asking for a grant, we want to borrow the money to reduce carbon emissions and return money to the purse.
“For every £1 spent of the £1 billion fund, local government, health or education services would see a return of at least £3 in efficiencies within about three years.”
The group wants the funding package to be locally delivered to allow organisations to accelerate ICT initiatives that would deliver savings.
The consortium, which met at the House of Commons last week, consisted of the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM), Logicalis and the charity Global Action Plan.
The consortium, which is backed by other big companies, including IBM and CA, argues that “fire fighting” to deal with the economic crisis will lead to increased pressure on the public sector. It says this pressure means that “business as usual is not an option.”
Trewin Restorick, chief executive officer of Global Action Plan, said: “There has to be a massive change to the delivery of public services, at present there is far too much duplication.”
He called for “increased collaboration” and “more shared services,” something which the NHS is already beginning to see.
Restorick also said that despite the government creating a world leading strategy for climate change, its carbon reduction legislation will penalise those lower down on the table of polluters and reward those higher up. “Health money may end up going to Tesco,” he added.
The debate at the Commons also heard calls for public and private sector organisations to join together to prove that a partnership between the two can show that real savings can be made through IT.
Steve Palmer, president of SOCITM, told E-Health Insider: “The work of healthcare professionals in the NHS and private sector and local authorities is inextricably linked; we need all the sides to work together and to take a much more holistic view in order to make this work.”
The consortium was put together in October and made an initial call to the government for the funding package in January. Palmer said: “Since October we have been in a very strange place politically. But we’ve had to think on our feet and this is where it really starts.”