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The Government is coming under increased pressure to replace a system to ensure every NHS patient has an electronic care record, after the Whitehall spending watchdog said it was not achieving value for money.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said in a report that the £6.4 billion National Programme for IT (NPfIT) should be scrapped because work is behind schedule and certain systems that had been introduced were not capable of everything they were supposed to be able to achieve.
If the programme was scrapped it would mean there would be wholesale changes to the operating system through which prescriptions end up with chemists.
The report was particularly critical of the £2.7 billion that had already been spent on care records and said it had no confidence in the £4.3 billion of planned further expenditure proving any different.
Despite five years of delays already, the remaining work was unlikely to be completed by 2016, when the contract with one of the suppliers – Computer Sciences Corporation – is due to expire, the NAO said.
Prime Minister David Cameron has told MPs the Government was considering “all the available options” including terminating the entire contract.
Copyright © Press Association 2011