Ministers have been urged to scrap a massive IT programme for the NHS amid claims it is not offering value for money.
Around £6.4bn has already been spent on the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), launched in 2002 by the previous Labour government to provide electronic care records for every NHS patient.
The National Audit Office says this goal cannot be achieved, with care records not being established as quickly as intended. It said that the £2.7 billion spent on care records had not been value for money and it had no confidence that the remaining £4.3bn of expenditure would work out differently.
The remaining work is unlikely to be completed by 2016 despite five years of delays, when a contract with the Computer Sciences Corporation is due to expire.
The Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that ministers are considering all options over the system – one of which includes dropping the entire contract. Amyas Morse of the NAO said: "The original vision for the National Programme for IT in the NHS will not be realised."