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NHS IT programme ‘to be scrapped’, nurses ‘not up to the job’ and how to shrink your crowsfeet

Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 22 September 2011

The Government is staring into a new black hole today, the Daily Mail reports today.

After too many glitches, health secretary Andrew Lansley and minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, have decided to scrap the NHS Programme for IT, pouring £12bn of taxpayers’ money down the drain.

This will be replaced by ‘cheaper regional initiatives’ chosen by hospitals and GPs themselves. Meanwhile a new watchdog will be established to ensure such huge sums can never wasted again, the newspaper says.

‘Labour’s IT programme let down the NHS and wasted taxpayers’ money by imposing a top-down IT system on the local NHS, which didn’t fit their needs,’ Mr Lansley said.

‘We will be moving to an innovative new system driven by local decision-making. This is the only way to make sure we get value from money from IT systems that better meet the needs of a modernised NHS.’

There’s more bad news for the coalition Government, with the nursing union head warning that many new nurses lack caring skills.

The chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, Peter Carter, says that the number of nurses not up to the job increases the chances of more care home scandals, The Times reports (paywall).

‘What we have on hospital wards and particularly in domicilary care and care homes is an unregulated, untrained workforce… Frankly, it’s northing short of a disgrace,’ Mr Carter says.

Meanwhile patient care is being jeopardised at more than 60 hospitals which are ‘on the brink of financial collapse’, crippled by PFI schemes, The Telegraph reports.

The Independent says a plan to cut legal aid for patients left physically or mentally damaged by NHS care is being legally challenged by medical safety charity Medical Accidents (AvMA).

If all of this stress for the Government is causing premature ageing, well here’s some good news for them – a new £35 pill which goes on sale tomorrow can allegedly shrink crow’s feet by up to a third, according to British scientists.

The wonder tablet contains vitamins C and E, soya isoflavones, lycopene from tomatoes and omega-3 fish oil, the Daily Mail reveals.