Monday, 25 May 2009

NHS IT Does it again - ie fails

Some interesting and terrible developments this past week or so in the world of UK NHS IT.
The Interesting: The CEO of CSC Europe - a title which is more ceremonial than real as CSC is split into non-cooperating regions (or warring fiefdoms as insiders call it) in Europe - has stated that Lorenzo is only two years late. Which it might be now, but that is when compared with the last agreed delivery. Based on the original bids it is at least 4 years late. Not bad eh!
The Terrible: the reported loss of ten of thousands (or is it millions?) of personal health records is a big worry. It was reported here in this blog last year that NHS IT security is not fit for purpose. We have also written about this to journalists on the Daily Telegraph and Times, and Andrew Lansley - Shadow Heath Minister, and the Chair of Parliament's IT Select Committee - none of whom have replied. So I guess they are happy for the status quo to continue.
That notwithstanding anyone who says the security of NHS IT, let alone the system itself is fit for purpose, is either a fool or a liar. The suppliers of this solution and the government and its agents, inlcuding Percy Grainger, have all said it is secure and I will leave it to the reader to decide which of the above they are. Meanwhile GPs are down loading records they have no right to see, and then losing them. It has been reported that there are now over 140 security breaches across a system that has not even been implemented fully.
As mentioned before NHS itself is not fit for purpose. In the time it takes you to read this another victim will be killed in an NHS hospital. These deaths are the biggest unpublicised or championed scandal in the UK today. Where is the champion to fix NHS and save more lives?
Meanwhle the IT system has be stopped right now before more people are either killed or blackmailed or have their identities stolen.
On the subject of killing someone, Computer Weekly reports that in the US that a noted business IT guru Joseph Bugajski, was almost killed by a hospital relying on a system similar to NHS IT that was riddled with misuse and faults. Read about it here. http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/tony_collins/2009/05/senior-analyst-nearly-killed-b.html
Note that Tony Collins of Computer Weekly, is a hero for standing up to the establishment and those who have tried to silence him because he is uncovering this unsavoury mess. Like the Daily Telegraph in its scoop with MP Expenses he is doing a public service.

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