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IT programme: 'we have no secrets'

The Government official in charge of the National Programme for IT has denied accusations of excessive secrecy and failing to consult with doctors.

Richard Granger also rejected complaints from GPs that the programme was failing to consider the risks from plans for a national care record and electronic booking system because it was desperate to meet Government deadlines.

He told the Primary Health Care Specialist Group's spring conference that in a year's time GPs would be complaining the programme was moving too slowly. Mr Granger added that GPs would retain choice over practice computers but said the programme would weed out unsuitable systems.

He also admitted that plans for electronic booking of hospital referrals by GPs would increase workload, but said it would create a more efficient system.

Dr John Williams, chair of the joint GPC/RCGP IT

sub-committee, said managers in charge of the national

programme were 'so intent on meeting deadlines that they were not taking notice of the risks'.

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