Headlines: December 4th, 2002

The NHS is preparing to change radically the way it procures IT systems to meet the commitment to connect the capabilities of modern IT to the delivery of the ten year NHS plan. The spending plans will push the NHS to the top of the world wide big spenders civil programme league and the funding will start to flow in April 2003.Richard Granger, the newly appointed Director General of Information Technology for the NHS has promised that the procurement processes will be streamlined and that the burden on suppliers will be cut significantly. Criticism of the current processes was one of the main findings from a recent consultation exercise with the industry.

He also announced that the reforms will include payment by results to reward suppliers for delivery. The new framework will result in suppliers who perform well with implementing projects being given more business. There will also be an annual assessment and suppliers who perform poorly will lose business and the good performers will gain business.

The major elements of the health service IT strategy are an Electronic Bookings service for all hospital appointment, a Prescriptions Service linking GPs to pharmacists, Integrated Care Records bringing together all information about a patient that is currently held in different parts of the NHS and a Staff Records system.