Skip to main content

Hospitals: ICT

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many hospitals are connected to the national NHS IT system; (259942)

(2) what timetable has been set for hospital trusts to introduce the national NHS IT system.

The NHS IT programme is delivering front-line systems and services that are providing major benefits for national health service organisations in England, staff and patients, enabling significant changes in the way the NHS operates, and delivering major system reform. All acute trusts have at least one system which has been delivered through the programme.

As at the end of February 2009, a total of 146 patient administration systems had been deployed as part of the programme to 45 acute, 24 mental health and 77 primary care trusts. Information on which of the organisations concerned include a hospital site, and which may have more than one hospital site, is not held centrally.

It is not possible to provide comprehensive details of the future number, location and sequencing of future deployments. This is because meeting the needs and priorities of individual trusts that are maintaining normal business operations requires flexibility in deployment planning, and inevitably means that plans will always be subject to potential change. Detailed implementation planning became the responsibility of individual trusts and the chief executives of strategic health authorities from April 2007. Taking the country as a whole, however, as reported in the National Audit Office 16 May 2008 report on the programme, it is likely to be 2014-15 before all trusts have fully-deployed care records systems, though some should receive the final releases of the software in late 2009.