The NHS National Programme for Information Technology: A Sociotechnical Perspective

Thursday 4 December 2008

Professor Emeritus Ken Eason
Bayswater Institute / Loughborough University

Launched in 2002 the NHS National Programme for Information Technology is a very large 10-year programme to create electronic patient records that can be shared across all the NHS Trusts in England.

It is funded to deliver interoperable technical systems but has as its fundamental objective the development of healthcare practices based on electronic records. This implies major changes to the work practices of nearly a million NHS staff and means that the Programme is an attempt at very large-scale sociotechnical systems change.

This presentation will review the progress of the programme from a sociotechnical systems perspective after 6 years and examine whether and how changes in working practice are being accomplished. The findings show not only the impact of the Programme on the NHS Trusts but also the effect of the Trusts on the technology suppliers and the organisation of the programme itself.

About Ken
Ken Eason is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Sciences at Loughborough University and a Senior Consultant of the Bayswater Institute.

He has researched the impact of ICT systems on organisations from a sociotechnical systems perspective for over 30 years and has engaged in action research studies using user-centred strategies in the introduction of new systems in many organisations including banks, utilities, the transport industry, the defence industry, manufacturing and the health service.

He is currently engaged in a two-year study with two Primary Care Trusts to study inter-organisational sharing of electronic patient records.


PDF fileNPfIT STS Perspective (4Mb)