£20bn NHS computer programme wont work

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Blogg, Feb 13, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Just had a moan at my IT Support Manager because we lost access to all remote drives. His response was that I should count myself lucky not to work for the NHS. He bailed out of working on this project last year because he simply did not want to be looking for a new job with a known disaster project on his CV:


    A senior executive at technology giant Fujitsu said the troubled project - the biggest civilian programme of its kind in the world - was also in danger of becoming a "camel" rather than a "racehorse".
    In a damning indictment of the scheme, Andrew Rollerson, a senior healthcare consultant at the firm, said: "What we are trying to do is run an enormous programme with the techniques that we are absolutely familiar with for running small projects.

    "And it isn't working. And it isn't going to work."

    He added the idea that the IT project - which aims to provide electronic health records for 50 million people - will transform patient care could not be "further from the truth".

    Why is this Government so wedded to mega-IT projects?
  2. I used to work for Fujitsu myself. The real problem with these things is that senior career civil servants and government officials are CONSTANTLY changing their fcuking minds, feeling the need to make their mark on the project. Almost invariably, these people know fcuk all about how major systems work, and therefore have unrealistic and frequently impossible expectations.
  3. 150 years ago, the government was similarly criticised for investing huge sums in developing sewers. Big capital projects, dubious business case, unproven construction methods.

    Roll onto 2007, and we've got a public sector that uses the same methods to run itself as it did in the 1850's. If I want to send a picture to you - its a piece of p*ss - I've got broadband. If a hospital wants to send MRI imagery to a specialist unit for interpretation it takes hours or days, via courier or post.

    Building 21st century infrastructure is horrifically expensive, likely to take longer than originally agreed, and upset lots of people who will have to change outdated working practices. Doing lots of small piecemeal projects is a non-starter as its likely to cost more, take longer, and fail to meet the needs of the NHS for a homogenous service that is of an equal standard across England and Wales.

    Oh, and SauceDoctor, you are absolutely right. The feckers change their mind every 2 minutes and kick off when its suggested that private sector companies might have the audacity to make a profit from the deal... IBM Global Services, one of the best Systems Integrators, deliberately did not bid for any of the NPFiT contracts (thus depriving the competition of a very effective bidder), because they saw the contracts as too risky...
  4. But they did bid for another medical IT contract in the UK, although they didn't win it.
  5. Your'e preaching to the choir here Brother. Some of 'em don't even know what you can do with a standalone PC.

    We had a problem in my office about gathering statistics on outstanding items in a BF diary system. I describes a simple flat table Data base as a possible solution. The manager in charge of liaising with the IT guys says "Can you really do that with a computer."

    A few weeks later I overhear two of the Systems Analysts with whose company she is liaising (we were upgrading) whispering to each other in amazement " They write everything down!"
  6. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    A good Friend of mine is working on the project and he reckons he has a job for life kncoking the bugs out of it as the Gov. will not let it fall on its arse.
  7. Just you wait whilst all of the off-shoring birds come home to roost. The Indian IT industry has expanded so quickly that they are employing guys with feck all experience at all and really haven't a clue. It is rather like asking a newly qualified doctor to perform neuro-surgery. The patient will die but, hey, the operation was cheap. I work with a company that is heavily involved in the catastrophic NHS project and can see all the shit code & non-existent testing that is coming back from off-shore. A simple example will suffice: A piece of software which had come back from off-shore allowed a date of August 99 (and we are refering to the day of the month here ...)
  8. He he, sounds familar. I work in the private sector and am contracted to a well known supermarket that uses off shore developers. The quality of stuff that comes back is often shocking as are their adherance to ITIL standards.

    Just as you find a decent developer amongst them he/she will disapear to another project and you are stuck with inexperienced mongs again.

    Some of the project team leaders are also just as bad, trying to push through the release of untested code on systems that are already full of bugs.

    From what I have heard of the public sector all I can say is thank feck I don't work there!
  9. Erm boss minor, Do you work on Sovereign street? (The spine was outsourced !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    I also work in medical informatics, we also tried outsourcing but have since replaced their code (failed for the reasons you mentioned).

    Was discussing CfH this weekend, seems like even subvisions of the NHS are struggling to communicate IT/IS requirements, so how on earth can the main part of it come to agreement? Its far too complex, with far too many people involved. It should have started with limited objectives like Data Interchange via HL7 and then built up the system. Definitely not jumb in with both feet first.
    This was happening in the industry beforehand, NPfIT/CfH just delayed it.

    Oh well, just aswell another similar project doesn't go live shortly.
  10. Some time ago, I worked for one of the conractors working on the NHS project. One of the managers stated that all of the records for the London area would be stored on a massive server in a single building.

    "What happens if you have an outage? A fire in the data centre or a visit from Al-Qaeda" asked one of the developers.

    The manager stated that the recovery plan enabled them to fail over to another data centre within a few days. "Of course, all the A&E departments in London would have to close during this period.", he added.

    In the NHS, the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum. I'll be asking my GP not to put my records on the new computer.
  11. Its not just that see

    Getting hospital data to connect to the NHS 'spine'

    and NHS suffering from broken spine

  12. Too many managers and a place becomes unmanageable. It's about time the NHS was privatised.
  13. Naw, fire the managers & hand it back to the doctors, the way it used to be.

    And maybe it should have Matrons again
  14. On the very few occasions I have requested a doctor's visit from my local surgery since returning to the Uk I have only ever been offered the services of a nurse - not that I have any complaints about the service offered. I have been assured that the surgery does employ doctors too!!!
    The fact is, putting filppancy aside, the health service provided by the state sponsered system within the UK is completely inferior to that offered by our brothers across the channel - I have lived in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland (and Australia): in each case the medical services offered to the average resident in terms of attendance times, local technology and waiting lists was far superior to what can be expected here. This isn't a criticism of the NHS - as a percent of GDP it does a great job - I just think it needs more money pumped into it - even if that means partial privatisation.
  15. Fecking doctors you must be joking, these are the premadonnas who earn 6 figure salaries and then want Friday afternoons off to run their private practice.

    One of the reasons the NHS is in sh1te state is half the money being pumped into it paid for their new contracts and the Gov, does not have the gonads to tell them who is in charge

    Half of Drs cant even write their name clearly and think they are too important to have to, do you want them running things?

    Did you catch the recent TV prog where a trouble shooter went into a NHS Trust?

    NHS managers are an easy target, have a look at the DOH and other Gov bodies awarding contracts to the usual suspects, who conveniently also contribute to the labliar party.

    Also look into how many chief execs at Trusts "retire" and then pop up as management advisors at the same companies

    Get real and don't swallow the propaganda of the Drs being heroes, managers being crap, private sector being perfect and the Gov. not to blame.