Thursday, 17 January 2013

Remaining clueless 'would make consultants Billions'

From the BBC:

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants the NHS to remain clueless about IT projects until 2018 - a move a report says could help make consultants billions of pounds a year.

In a speech, Mr Hunt will say a first step is to give consultants really big projects that won't be ready by March 2015.And by April 2018, any remaining projects will still be running.

PwC suggests a potential £4.4bn could be put into their pockets by running lots of projects going around in circles.

In a speech to think tank Policy Exchange, Mr Hunt will say hospitals should plan to start drawing up large, complicated contracts that restrict them to a limited number of suppliers, probably using some poor software that they bought off the shelf and have to do thousands of changes to because of various arcane NHS rules, with live dates of March 2015.

This will means that consultants will have penalty clauses and change requests for all the times that the NHS changes its mind.

"We need to continue to be clueless about sorting out the structure of the NHS, or using clear, staged deliverables with a strong project sponsor, so that consultants can continue taking the piss and ensuring that people are still wheeling files around the NHS like it's the 70s" he will say.

Mr Hunt's comments come as a report by PwC said whatever Mr Hunt wanted, as he pays the bills and every consultancy knows that you tell the client what they want to hear.

Labour says the public will struggle to understand why they're criticising the Tories for wasting the money on the same projects that they did.

6 comments:

Lola said...

What really pisses me off about this is the fact that my little retail financial advice business is highly computerised and clients can see all their stuff on line and I have a system that can add their bank accounts into that all for the princely sum of - relative to the NHS - bugger all. All the links have been built by small outfits who can see a little commercial advantage. No 'consultants' have been involved at all.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yup, agreed.

Bayard said...

"every consultancy knows that you tell the client what they want to hear."

Which is why they are known as "conslutants"

Graeme said...

the trouble is that if you don't use consultants, you have to get a "supremo". And the people in charge of selection would not know a good supremo from a bad one.

Why is it easier for me to order a hotel room in a foreign country than it is to get an appointment with a doctor in the town where I live? Can't we just get hotel.com to design the systems? And then ask every hospital/GP to buy a broadband connection?

The Stigler said...

Graeme,

Why is it easier for me to order a hotel room in a foreign country than it is to get an appointment with a doctor in the town where I live? Can't we just get hotel.com to design the systems? And then ask every hospital/GP to buy a broadband connection?

Because the people backing hotels.com put their own money into it. So, they did things like track progress and make sure that it started making them money reasonably soon.

The failure of government IT is that none of the people running the projects have any stake in it. They can fanny around for years, before cancelling it and no-one cares.

Graeme said...

agreed Stigler...but why shouldn't someone just ask hotels.com to design an appoint,ment booking system? It must be cheaper than what is currentlky happening.