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London hospital facing £400k fine for missing targets

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St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London faces being fined £400,000 a month for missing patient care targets as a result of the troubled NHS IT programme, MPs have heard.

Conservative Richard Bacon, a member of the Commons Public Accounts Committee which scrutinises public spending, said the £12.7bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) had led to St Barts developing a backlog of thousands of patients waiting for treatment.

Mr Bacon told the Commons some patients were waiting more than six months for treatment because of the “dreadful” computer system.

He said the Cerner Millennium system had caused “havoc” wherever it had been deployed in the NHS.

“As a consequence of that the hospital is now going to be fined by its primary care trust, NHS Tower Hamlets, £400,000 a month,” Mr Bacon (Norfolk South) said.

The hospital was failing to meet a Department of Health target that nobody should wait more than 18 weeks to receive hospital treatment from the time they are referred by a GP.

Barts and The London NHS Trust said they were in “negotiations” with Tower Hamlets PCT about the breach of the 18-week target.

A spokeswoman said: “We know that all of the patients in the backlog have been seen by a consultant in outpatients within the 13-week target, and there is no evidence that any patient has come to clinical harm as a result of the backlog.

“Barts and The London NHS Trust began reporting 18 week data again in September and the number of patients not treated within the 18 weeks target has reduced, and continues to do so, month-on-month.

“In relation to Mr Bacon’s assertion that we are in deficit, we can confirm that this is not the case and this year the trust will return a surplus.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • great, I'm sure they have enough problems without loosing £400k in fines.
    The PCT needs to get real

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