Dear Mr Bowley,
Thank you for your email regarding the NPfIT. I certainly agree with your point that drawing up contracts for IT systems that have yet to be developed has proved costly for the taxpayer and for Government. Nowhere is this more true than the National Programme for IT where only one hospital has received a full implementation of Lorenzo due to the fact that it had not yet been designed when the Department of Health let the contract with CSC, and only 12 hospitals have received Cerner Millennium – a U.S. system that has had to be adapted extensively for application in NHS Trusts by BT.
Whilst I have not come across the Agile approach before, I will certainly bear it in mind as we seek to develop our policy of giving local NHS Trusts a choice of IT system through a central catalogue of open standards/accredited systems. I will keep on record any further information you are able to provide in writing about the Agile methodology and would welcome any such information in response to this email. Once again, thank you for getting in touch.
Shadow Health Minister
drawing up contracts for projects that have not yet been developed – this confuses me, please explain – does he mean developed in terms of the govn not planning?