The Department of Health (DoH) has admitted to weaknesses in the NHS National Programme for IT after MPs on the Public Accounts Committee released a damning report on Wednesday.
The report criticised the wasteful spending in the project, noting that a whopping £2.7bn has already been spent on a centralised records management system without any clear benefits shown by the DoH.
In response, a spokesperson for the DoH admitted that there are failings with the project, but claimed that work is being done to reduce future costs.
"The government recognises the weaknesses of a top-down, centrally imposed IT system. Although elements of the programme have been delivered successfully, the policy approach previously taken has failed to engage the NHS sufficiently," the spokesperson said.
"We have already taken action to improve value for money in the NHS IT programme. We have reduced spending by £1.3bn. We are engaging with the NHS to ensure it delivers even greater benefits for patients."
The spokesperson added that the DoH is looking at new ways to further reduce spending on the project, suggesting that it will push ahead despite MPs arguing that the project should be shelved.
"We are determined to deliver even more value for money from the programme. The findings of the Public Accounts Committee will contribute to the planning currently underway for future informatics support to the modernised NHS," the spokesperson said.
The government announced earlier in the week that it has saved £450m on IT spending since taking office by cancelling IT projects.
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