Assembly Committee Finds Programme to End Paper Patient Records in Wales, Outdated and Failing to Deliver

Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay, who is Chairman of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, has declared that a £500 million programme to end NHS paper patient records in Wales is outdated, failing to deliver and in need of a reboot.

The Public Accounts Committee found that since the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) was first envisioned in 2003, other technology products have been launched, refined and improved, while medical staff are struggling with archaic IT systems which fail to deliver.

During the first six months of 2018, systems across NHS Wales failed on average one every nine days. The Committee was particularly concerned that patients may have been placed at risk as a result of this, and especially drew attention to the part of the system used to track the treatment and wellbeing of cancer patients.

Speaking as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Nick said: “” Our inquiry has raised serious question marks about the competence, capability and capacity across the system to deliver a digital transformation in Welsh healthcare.

“And yet we discovered a culture of self-censorship and denial amongst those charged with taking the agenda forward – in NWIS itself, as well as its partners in the health boards and the Welsh Government.”

The Committee makes a number of recommendations in its report which will now be considered by the Welsh Government.