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NHS IT projects worth £5bn at 'high risk' of failure, warns HSCIC

Latest health report on numerous programmes not looking good

The NHS currently has £5bn in IT projects deemed at “high risk of failure”, according to the latest board minutes from the Health & Social Care Information Centre.

The ratings (PDF) are based on gateway reports assessing the risk of four IT projects this year.

All are related as “red” or “amber/red” meaning successful delivery is either impossible or extremely unlikely.

Those projects include the remaining electronic health records contracts with BT and CSC, due to end in 2015 and 2016.

According to the HSCIC report, the £2.3bn CSC Local Service Provider (LSP) programme has now been flagged as “red”, up from “amber/red” when the Major Projects Authority last released its rating for September 2014.

Both programmes were originally started in 2003/2004 and have had an extremely troubled history.

Other high-rated projects on the list included the £168m NHSmail2 programme, to provide secure email across the NHS, which has slipped from “amber” to “amber/red”.

However, some projects on the list showed signs of improvement. For example, the NHS e-Referral system, has moved from “amber” to “amber/green” – meaning delivery is now on track – and the £748m Health and Social Care Network, which has improved from “red” to “amber/red”. The e-Referral system, however, has since encountered some major problems following the gateway review from earlier this year.

Other NHS IT projects not included on the list of gateway review updates were the programme, which has been flagged as red and the NHS Choices website, also flagged as red. ®

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