NHS 24 apologises for IT system failures

NHS 24, Scotland’s telehealth and telecare organisation, has apologised for the “serious incompetence” that caused a massive overspend and failed roll-out of new IT and call-handling system.

The system, which was budgeted at £75m, is already £41m over budget with that figure in danger of rising further. The system went live in November, more than two years after the original target date, but was soon withdrawn due to concerns about patient safety.

Public Audit Committee members said managers should be “ashamed” of the “failings” and “serious incompetence” which had led to “a complete mess”.


Lessons learned

In its conclusion, NHS 24 said: “NHS 24 apologises unreservedly for its failure to effectively implement the Future Programme but wishes to reassure the committee that lessons have been learned and the system is expected to finally launch in the summer of 2016.

“The current system continues to enable NHS 24 to provide a safe, effective and person centred service but is incapable of further development to support the future evolution of our services and therefore needs to be replaced.”

Capgemini delivered the applications for the new IT system, with BT supplying the hardware and infrastructure.

NHS 24 has set a revised roll-out date of summer 2016, meaning the system will be three years behind schedule.


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