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Digital Health Highlights

Axed patient feedback service cost £1.2 million
North Bristol live with Lorenzo
FinIT: the end of NPfIT in London and the South

Welcome [*data('2.first_name')|html*] Issue No 710, 20 November 2015 twitter contact



With all eyes fixed on the Treasury, as it gets ready to unveil the results of the spending review next Wednesday, and with NHS managers making increasingly desperate noises about the need to secure up-front funding for reform, it would have been easy to miss the end of the National Programme for IT in London and the South this week.

Nevertheless, the end-point was effectively reached with the exit of the last acute trust to receive Cerner Millennium from the programme from the BT data centre. Perhaps fittingly, that trust was North Bristol NHS Trust which, at the same time, has become the first southern trust to deploy the other system closely associated with NPfIT – CSC’s Lorenzo. In this week’s features section, Rebecca McBeth, considers the impact of ten years of NPfIT in London and the South.

Predictably, it’s mixed; many trusts received nothing, some received their ‘strategic’ systems and made virtually no use of them, some grabbed functionality late, and a couple are now among the most digitised in the country. McBeth also finds widespread agreement that the re-contracting and exit were well handled. Ironically, the smoothest and least contentious bits of LPfIT and SPfIT may have been their ends.

Speaking of ends, Digital Health News has also established that the project to bring 311 to the UK cost £1.2 million – or £1,600 for every query answered. That’s both a relatively small and a shocking sum, given that other advice and feedback services were available, and the process that led to the establishment of Care Connect was never totally clear. Perhaps the PAC, that scourge of NPfIT, could ask a few questions?



The end of NPfIT in London and the South

The National Programme for IT has come to an end in London and the South with the exit of the final trust to deploy Cerner Millennium from the BT data centre.

North Bristol live with Lorenzo

North Bristol NHS Trust has become the first trust in the south of England to go live with the computer system Lorenzo.

Axed patient feedback service cost £1.2 million

NHS England’s abandoned patient feedback service Care Connect cost on average £1,600 for every patient query resolved during the pilot phase.

NHS 24 abandons 'challenging' IT system

Scotland’s health advice service, NHS 24, has had to withdraw a new, £117 million computer and phone system over patient safety fears as winter pressures approach.

Doubt cast on value of computerised CBT

Computer courses to treat depression are likely to be ineffective, according to research by the University of York.

Irish hospital plans records access

A hospital in Ireland plans to give patients access to their medical records by this time next year.

IT productivity plan an 'educated guess'

NHS England’s plan to spend billions on technology to drive efficiencies in healthcare provision is based on an “educated guess”, according to an academic in health information.

Formula 1 tech monitors sick children

An NHS hospital is using technology developed to monitor drivers in the McLaren Formula One racing team to keep track of the health of seriously ill children.



There is nothing the NHS likes more than a three letter acronym, and nothing NHS IM&T likes more than to join in with a few of its own. So it was with some joy that the diary received notification that the NHS Confederation had updated its acronym buster. Which is now available, modern fashion, on an app.

Even with 700 acronyms (count ‘em) available, the NHS hasn’t managed to avoid some duplication. PACS, for example, stands for picture archiving and communications system. And for primary and acute care system.

The first is IT for digital imaging. The second is some kind of vanguard. Which will be the more useful to a patient with a broken leg in a decade’s time?


Orion MPU
Orion MPU



FinIT: the end of NPfIT in London and the South

Cerner Millennium trusts had to be out of the BT data centre by the end of last month. With the exit of the final trust just two weeks late, Rebecca Todd reports on the end of the National Programme for IT in two of its five regions.

Standard bearers: using safety standards in IT implementations

The Health and Social Care Information Centre is promoting the use of standards and safety cases to improve healthcare IT implementations. But are the standards well known, and is the process working? Thomas Meek reports.


Featured comment


“Gosh. Seems only a heartbeat since we saw ‘North Bristol live with Cerner Millennium.’ Good luck, anyway.”

By: Daniel Defoe
Story: North Bristol live with Lorenzo


Quote of the week


“With just days left before the spending review, finance directors are not confident in the current plans and need more clarity… It is clear many need the [£8 billion promised by the Conservatives during the election campaign] now… [They also] need realistic efficiency targets with adequate funding for the new demands and cost pressures facing them. It’s time to think about what Plan B is, if all else fails.”

Paul Briddock, policy director of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, joins the chorus of demand for money now to address the NHS’ financial pressures and to start on the ‘Five Year Forward View’ reforms; but warns that even this may not be enough, given the results of the association’s latest survey of its members.


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