Critical IT faults in NHS ‘rise by 70%’

By staff

The number of critical IT faults in the NHS has risen by 70 per cent in the past three years, according to figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats.

The data shows there were 4,000 severe IT incidents reported during the last 12 months.

Of those over 800 were described a “severity 1” or “critical”.

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb commenting on the figures, revealed in a parliamentary answer, said the IT programme for the NHS had been a “disaster from the start”.

“Ministers have imposed IT programmes on local health authorities despite the fact that there was no proper business case and no clinical assessment of what was needed,” he said in a statement.

“There is a complete lack of transparency over what is happening. Serious IT incidents in the NHS could potentially lead to fatalities.

“There must be a thorough independent review of the whole flawed national IT programme. We must end the central imposition of IT systems and move to local control.”

The NHS IT project has been plagued by mismanagement and overspend since its inception. Last month, a cross-party group of MPs said key parts of it were on the brink of failure.