Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Department of Health

Central IM&T spend (IPU)

  The NHS Information Authority currently spends approximately £110 million per year on central IM&T projects and infrastructure services. These projects all have a Senior Responsible Owner and undergo Gateway Procedures. I have included below all Central IM&T projects, for information.

NHS spend

  The current NHS baseline spend on IM&T procurement is approximately £800 million per annum, extrapolated from NHS Local Investment Plans. All NHS projects are required to have a Senior Responsible Owner (invariably the Chief executive), and the OGC and the Department of Health are working on an NHS model of a Gateway Review process which takes account of the existing NHS IM&T business case process and which avoids duplication.

"Central" IM&T cases

    —  "Central" IM&T cases are those developed by the Department on behalf of the NHS. Those already approved (see CHART OF "CENTRAL" IM&T BUSINESS CASES, at ANNEX, below) are worth £897 million. Business Cases are prepared and considered at two stages: OBC, Outline Business Case and FBC, Full Business Case.

    —  "Central" IM&T cases still in procurement or at pre-OBC stage (see CHART OF "CENTRAL" IM&T BUSINESS CASES, at ANNEX, below) are worth an estimated £1,795 million. The estimated cost of any of these schemes may, of course, change during procurement.

    —  Total figure for central IM&T cases approved, in procurement or at pre-OBC stage is therefore £2,692 million.

Business cases provided by individual NHS Trusts

    —  A central plank of investment policy is the provision of Electronic Patient Records (EPR), in accordance with Information for Health: Building the Information Core. Investment started off sluggishly in 1998-99 but has gradually increased.

    —  Since 1999, PFIB have approved 19 OBCs and three FBCs for EPR systems (and seen, but not yet approved, many more). Regional Office delegation means that many more Trusts are now having EPR schemes approved at Regional Office level or have such schemes in the pipeline.

    —  There is now also significant investment in the following types of scheme: pathology; prescribing, radiology and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System—a system that stores and transmits X-rays and scans in electronic form).

    —  Increasing use of consortium arrangements, whereby Trusts group together to undertake the procurement process, whether or not they actually contract with the same supplier—this is a welcome development since this speeds up implementation of EPR throughout the NHS.

    —  We have established a "Business Case Database" which Regional Offices are now populating with details of the IM&T business cases they have handled so as to give us a national overview.

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Prepared 23 May 2002