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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Doctors' survey: NHS computer system
computer
Doctors should be able to access a patient's records, wherever they are
As the NHS faces a massive cash crisis, the government insists its multi-billion pound computer project is to press ahead despite widespread opposition from doctors.

The BBC's File On 4 programme commissioned a survey by medical research company, Medix, of doctors practicing in England. 85% of the respondents said they wanted a review of the National Programme for IT in the NHS (NPfIT) to see if it was feasible.

787 doctors responded to the online questionnaire: 447 hospital doctors and 340 GPs. The results are below.

Also included on this page are some comments about NPfIT which doctors submitted with the survey. They wished to remain anonymous.

Poorly worked out and a very expensive mistake
Q1: Is your hospital using an electronic clinical record system? (Hospital Doctors only)
Response
Yes: 140, 31%
No: 259, 58%
Unsure/not applicable to me: 48, 11%
Base: 447

Choose and Book is NOT working...I think it is a waste of time and money, and the traditional system worked out much better
Q2: Was your hospital's electronic clinical record system provided under the National Programme for IT in the NHS (NPfIT)? (Hospital Doctors only)
Response
Yes: 15, 11%
No: 47, 34%
Unsure: 76, 55%
Base: 138

Q3: How do you rate your experience of the new electronic clinical record system? (Hospital Doctors only whose electronic record system was provided under NPfIT)
NOTE: because of the small sample size these findings have no statistical validity
Response
Good: 3, 20%
Fairly good: 7, 47%
Neither good nor bad: 2, 13%
Fairly poor: 2, 13%
Poor: 1, 7%
Unsure: 0, 0%
Base: 15

Connecting for health has theoretical benefits which actually might improve patient care. However, political interference has caused significant problems
Q4: How do you rate your experience of the electronic clinical record system? (Hospital Doctors only whose electronic record system was not provided under NPfIT) NOTE: because of the small sample size these findings have no statistical validity
Response
Good: 13, 28%
Fairly good: 14, 30%
Neither good nor bad: 10, 21%
Fairly poor: 8, 17%
Poor: 2, 4%
Unsure: 0, 0%
Base: 47

Choose and book is good in theory, but the technology was not fully in place before it was launched
Q5: Is your practice equipped to use the Choose and Book service? (GPs only)
Response
Yes: 272, 80%
No: 58, 17%
Unsure/not applicable to me: 10 3%
Base: 340

Q6: If your practice is equipped to use Choose and Book, is it a fully electronic version or does it, for example, include use of the telephone? (GPs only) Response
Fully electronic: 171, 63%
Other: 60, 22%
Unsure: 39, 14%
Base: 270

Q7: If your practice is equipped to use Choose and Book, how frequently do you use it to make hospital appointments for your patients? (GPs only) Response
Always: 17, 6%
Mostly: 69, 26%
Sometimes: 49, 18%
Rarely: 38, 14%
Never: 97, 36%
Base: 270

Hugely time-consuming, doesn't work properly and patients get 'lost'
name here
Q8: How do you rate your experience of Choose and Book? (GPs only)
Response
Have not used Choose and Book: 43, 16%
Good: 23, 9%
Fairly good: 32, 12%
Neither good nor bad: 26, 10%
Fairly poor: 47 17%
Poor: 87 32%
Unsure/not applicable to me: 11 4%
Base: 269

I believe this government is in the process of making the most radical changes to the delivery of healthcare in this country. the changes are well thought out and interdependent on the success of each strand. Hospitals will be encouraged to become more speedy in delivering services by the 'money follows patient care' initiative which is in turn dependent on primary care using the Choose And Book system. If hospitals cannot deliver the services within the 13-week target they will not be available for booking on Choose and Book and so will fail financially. there is no reason for the long delays in service which this country has tolerated for so long
Q9: What is your view of the following statement? "The arrangements proposed under NPfIT to maintain the confidentiality of nationally held patient records are satisfactory."
Response
Strongly agree: All - 9 (1%), GPs - 6 (2%), Hosp docs: 3 (1%)
Agree: All - 152 (20%), GPs - 37 (11%), Hosp docs: 115 (27%)
Disagree: All - 203 (27%), GPs - 96 (29%), Hosp docs: 107 (25%)
Strongly disagree: All - 128 (17%), GPs - 95 (28%), Hosp docs - 33 (8%)
Unsure: All -118 (15%), GPs - 49 (15%), Hosp docs - 69 (16%)
Insufficient information to comment: All - 155 (20%), GPs - 51 (15%), Hosp docs - 104 (24%)
Base: All - 765, GPs - 334, Hosp docs - 431

Our hospital has faxed us this morning and told us to stop using Choose And Book. One of my patients contacted me and said 'Whoever came up with this system couldn't organise a p*** up in a brewery!'
Q10: 23 senior academics have called for an independent assessment of the technical viability of NPfIT. Do you agree that such an assessment is required?
Response
Strongly agree: All - 376 (49%), GPs - 184 (55%), Hosp docs - 192 (45%)
Agree: All - 273 (36%), GPs - 108 (32%), Hosp docs - 165 (38%)
Neither agree nor disagree: All - 35 (5%), GPs - 15 (4%), Hosp docs - 20 (5%)
Disagree: All - 20 (3%), GPs - 5 (1%), Hosp docs - 15 (3%)
Strongly disagree: All - 4 (1%), GPs - 0 (0%), Hosp docs - 4 (1%)
Insufficient information to comment: All - 32 (4%), GPs - 7 (2%), Hosp docs - 25 (6%)
Base: All - 765, GPs - 334, Hosp docs - 431

Q11: What is your view of the following statement? "The probable cost of NPfIT IT (6.2bn plus the cost of local implementation) is likely to be a good use of NHS resources."
Response
Strongly agree: All - 22 (3%), GPs - 8 (2%), Hosp docs - 14 (3%)
Agree: All - 122 (16%), GPs - 25 (7%), Hosp docs - 97 (23%)
Neither agree nor disagree: All - 99 (13%), GPs - 34 (10%), Hosp docs - 65 (15%)
Disagree: All - 219 (29%), GPs - 101 (30%), Hosp docs - 118 (28%)
Strongly disagree: All - 248 (33%), GPs - 148 (44%), Hosp docs - 100 (23%)
Unsure: All - 51 (7%), GPs - 18 (5%), Hosp docs - 33 (8%)
Base: All - 761, GPs - 334, Hosp docs - 427

I think there is general support for the NPfIT - but considerable concern about the way it is being implemented
Q12: Which of the following is the nearest to your view of the future of NPfIT? Response

Give it whatever resources and priority are necessary to do the job thoroughly.

All - 51 (7%), GPs - 10 (3%), Hosp docs - 41 (10%)

Ensure it gets greater priority within the NHS and is reasonably funded.
All - 141 (19%), GPs - 41 (12%), Hosp docs - 100 (23%)

Continue current activity but keep a tight control on budgets.
All - 208 (27%), GPs - 79 (24%), Hosp docs - 129 (30%)

It is the way forward but has been dogged by politics and is being sold on the basis of politics and not patient need
Continue it but with reduced funding and a local rather than national focus.
All -112 (15%), GPs: 51 (15%), Hosp docs - 61 (14%)

Abandon it completely and return to local initiatives.
All - 157 (21%), GPs - 112 (34%), Hosp docs - 45 (11%)

Unsure/ don't know.
All - 49% (6%), GPs - 26 (8%), Hosp docs - 23 (5%)

Insufficient information to comment.
All - 41 (5%), GPs 14 (4%), Hosp docs - 27 - 6%
Base: All - 759, GPs - 333, Hosp docs - 426


File On 4: BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 30 May, 2006 at 2000 GMT and repeated on Sunday 4 June, 2006 at 1700 GMT. Or listen online - see links on the right hand side of this page.


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SEE ALSO:
Health records put on Internet
09 Dec 03 |  England


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