Health service IT providers claim budget cuts and strategy changes are playing havoc with staffing levels.
Budget cuts and operational changes are taking their toll on NHS IT departments, as long-term projects get shelved and staff leave to take up similar positions in the private sector. According to research by IT provider 2e2, which featured responses from 100 NHS IT directors, 87 per cent said they felt under pressure to cut costs and help the Government achieve its aim of slashing £20 billion from the health service’s budget by 2015.
To make this happen, it is estimated each NHS IT department will need to make savings of around 10 per cent this year, and then 12 per cent for each subsequent year until 2015.
Speaking to IT Pro, Adam Kamruddin, head of healthcare at 2e2, said these cuts, coupled with the breakdown of the National Programme for IT, is making life difficult for many NHS IT departments. “Many trusts are investing in experts to help guide them through the IT procurement process because, when the National Programme was in place, it wasn’t something they needed to be as concerned with,” he explained. “It is especially difficult for those that didn’t have a self-functioning IT organisation in place to suddenly be in a position where they have to evaluate technologies and suppliers themselves.”
This has led to a marked rise in the number of NHS IT departments that use outsourcers. This may have also prompted more public sector IT workers to seek employment in the private sector.
Source: IT Pro