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Connecting for Health

Martin Rosenbaum | 13:42 UK time, Friday, 18 August 2006

There was an excellent freedom of information story on The World at One this lunchtime, about the National Audit Office weakening (or should that be 'sexing down') its draft criticisms of the huge NHS IT programme Connecting for Health.

The final version of the NAO report on this scheme, published in June, was much less critical of Connecting for Health than generally anticipated.

Using FOI, The World at One obtained an earlier draft of the NAO report, dated 26 January.

This criticised the Department of Health for being 'slow to demonstrate clear and effective leadership'. It also stressed how the NHS lacked sufficient IT skills to support the delivery of the programme. These were among criticisms which were either deleted or weakened for the final version.

So which report paints a more accurate version of the position of Connecting for Health? The advantage of FOI is that those who are interested can now read both and make up their own mind.

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