Switching On: The failure of the world’s largest IT project, and what happens now

HealthInvestor, Jan 2012

The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) was arguably the most disastrous government procurement in living memory. It was the largest IT project the world has ever seen, and it was an abject failure. But since the £11 billion programme was abandoned last summer, those involved in healthcare IT have not just been stood in the naughty corner, thinking about what they’ve done. Work to give the NHS the world-class, state-of-the-art IT systems it deserves has moved on at a surprising pace.

For the UK’s many IT companies not involved in NPfIT – who were effectively locked out of the enormous NHS market for almost a decade – the end of the programme heralds a new era of opportunity. In many ways, the sector is starting from scratch: the NHS can now engage with a range of IT suppliers it has had to ignore since 2002; mobile and cloud computing solutions are favoured over the IT infrastructure from NPfIT; and suppliers will soon be selling to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and a National Commissioning Board, not PCTs and SHAs.

HealthInvestor, 2012

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