Your views: NHS IT programme

This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service in England. In our weekly newsletter, we asked for your thoughts on the National Programme for IT the massive 12.6 billion upgrade and IT implementation currently wreaking havoc across the healthcare system.

To those of you following the delays and troubles, it should come as no surprise that some people are pretty angry about the system.

"It's a massive cock up. It will be decades before it works properly. It is a huge waste of public money. And it is not a problem with the IT technology and software involved. As with any other NHS project it is a management issue," said Richard.

Peter wrote in to say it's about time we got some tech, but the programme could use some management skills, too. "They should have had the best in IT years ago. However, as the NHS has never been national it is surprising that it is now getting to use systems that will benefit the patient All the hi-tech systems in the world cannot make up for the appalling lack of good management."

Others said that IT in the NHS is necessary, but agreed that the government has no idea what it's doing with rolling out such systems.

David said: "The problem in not whether computerising all NHS records is imperative, it clearly is. It is the incompetence of the software suppliers, and the incompetence of the Government to employ an expert who knows how simple the problem is."

Richard agreed: "The computerisation of the NHS is a very necessary process to increase efficiency and to move around the vast number of files of all types at the speed necessary. Unfortunately, from what I have seen and from comments that have come from persons within the NHS, the system has the usual problems when the Government gets its hands on IT."

"I think the use of IT in the NHS should be a wonderful thing," said Joe. "Most people who work for government departments know very little about how an IT system works, or how much it costs."

Richard added that the way the NHS system has happened has hurt his faith in the government to roll-out other systems. "After messing up on the NHS Computers the Government plans to bring in the ID card scheme. From discussions from people who have the inside track on this I have become increasingly worried about this."

But IT facilities manager Mike said all the work and trouble will be worth it, in the end. "I think people will welcome the time when everything is electronic, from the notes the doctors write at the bottom of your hospital bed, the nurses working on the ward, half being agency staff, to the doctor just about to operate on you and back out to your GP."