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Hospital boss slams NHS computerised medical records system after IT upgrade

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The new NHS computerised medical records system has been criticised by a hospital boss after staff were 'incredibly disappointed' with the IT upgrade on trial at the London institution.

According to Andrew Way, chief executive of Hampstead's Royal Free Hospital, the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which has soared in price to£12 billion, has cost his trust an extra£10 million and caused fewer patients to be seen.

The IT upgrade aims to create a centralised medical records system for 50 million patients in England, which the Government believes will benefit patient care and could prove vital in emergencies.

The Royal Free began trialling the e-records system last summer, but its staff have not been impressed with the results.

Mr Way told the BBC: "I have personally apologised for the decision to implement the system before we were really clear about what we were going to receive. I had been led to believe it would all work."

An extra£4 million was spent by the trust to get the system working, with added administration costs including 40 extra staff to handle the added workload.

A further£6 million was effectively lost because problems with the system meant the hospital was unable to bill other parts of the NHS for work done.

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