Posted on May 16, 2018 by staff

‘NHS needs bog-standard IT’ says national director


Matthew Swindells has said the NHS must harness what he called ‘bog-standard’ data capture and analytics in order to run effectively.

The NHS England’s national director for operations has criticised the lack of integrated data technology being used within the service.

“We walk around most hospitals and we’ve not known how many beds we have and how many patients are lying in them,” Swindells said during the event, as reported by Computer Weekly.

“We need to at the very least get the data that we capture back out. If we can’t do the basics, me going cap in hand to the treasury for another £10bn to sort IT out just sounds like fool’s money.”

“We are investing millions of pounds in technology, yet we’ve got six organisations that still can’t tell us what their waiting lists are. It’s not acceptable,” he is reported as having said.

“We have to make this stuff work well.”

“Our failure to deliver competent, bog-standard IT is stopping us from running an efficient NHS, and we have to get that right.”

In a 2017 keynote address to the Health and Care Innovation Expo, Swindells said software providers should not be overly protective of data, urging vendors who work within the NHS to drive openness and data sharing into the system.

He argued during the keynote that every NHS board must have technology at the top of its agenda.

Last month, the CEO of the company appointed to develop the NHS Patient Safety Incident Management System told BusinessCloud that the NHS was in her experience more risk averse than the nuclear sector.