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NHS IT delays "threaten patients"

Patient safety is being put at risk due to delays in implementing the new NHS IT system, a study of senior managers claims.

Parts of the controversial £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT) are currently years behind schedule.

Now, experts writing online in the British Medical Journal said that while senior managers support the aims of the system, they have wide-ranging concerns.

Many believe patients are being put at risk while hospitals wait for parts of NPfIT to be implemented.

They are left relying on outdated patient information systems and some trusts have even considered buying interim programs while they wait for NPfIT to get off the ground, the study found.

The NPfIT is designed to link more than 30,000 GPs to nearly 300 hospitals over a 10-year period.

A spokesman for Connecting for Health said: "It is untrue to suggest patient safety is being compromised. NHS CFH is giving full priority to trusts with the oldest existing systems."

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