National Health Service (Nhs) It Project: Analysis of Its Failure

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction to the National Health Service (NHS) Project
  • Criteria for Project Failure of Success
  • Reasons For the NHS Civilian Project Failure
  • Motives and Design
    Poor Contracting Process
    Scope Creep
  • Suggestions for Future Improvements
  • Stakeholder Selection
    Manage Outsourcing
    Eliminate Scope Creep
    Initiate a Design Plan
  • Conclusion
  • References

A project is basically an objective driven, impermanent, group-based task wanting to accomplish a set result inside the limits of a budget plan and time. It’s the nature of a project to either succeed or come up short. The achievement of a project doesn't rely on whether it's huge or little, but instead the moves made amid the task by capable individuals. Therefore, it is apparent that projects of any size are subject to failure. Some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world have invested in such terrible project failures. NHS’s Civilian IT project is one such failed project. The NHS essay will discuss with example different reasons and factors that contributed to the failure of this project.

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According to a study carried out by IBM it’s stated that only 40% of projects meet schedule, budget and quality goals and 75% of the project participants lack confidence that their projects will succeed. The NHS’s civilian IT project was produced for the health care services which represents a more noteworthy risk on the patients and doctors if it somehow managed to be non-functional when required. In this way, the desire for the expression 'perfectly built' should have been satisfied. Be that as it may, shockingly it was expressed as one of the biggest ever IT projects endeavored and alongside its multifaceted nature and cash contributed, it was for sure unsafe and caused various issues.

Introduction to the National Health Service (NHS) Project

The National Health Service (NHS) is the healthcare framework for England which is freely supported. It is additionally the biggest and the most seasoned single-payer healthcare framework on the planet. In 2002, it was wanting to actualize a brought together electronic health framework for the residents of UK. The essential goal was to serve 40,000 GPS and more than 300 British clinics guaranteeing this to be one of the biggest IT anticipates ever endeavored ever of. Notwithstanding that, one of the significant motivations to guarantee the achievement of this administration venture was the cash contributed which was professed to be the citizens' cash since NHS was a citizen supported association. It is perfect to state that all these outside variables included additional weight and duty venture administrators and the group included. Moreover, it's additionally expressed that NHS bit off beyond what they could bite beginning too huge and excessively speedy. The task was alluded to as 'galactic in size' further underlining the trouble related with the undertaking to complete out effectively. With every one of these duties included it was the obligation of the group to ensure that the final product meets the desires for the customers.

Besides, thinking about above certainties the legislature had exclusive standards on the achievement of this project which ended up in a heart break. The project bombed calamitously making the administration free billions of citizen's cash prompting the surrendering of the project titling this as 'one of the world's biggest IT project disappointments'. As expressed by an article in 2013 by the gatekeeper paper it is said that the project cost about £10 billion which was to be sure a misuse of citizens' cash. The article additionally expressed that the enhanced IT framework was acquainted with trade the National program for IT which was likewise ineffectively overseen and are driven with their own authoritative wrangles. At last, the project had numerous issues and purposes behind its disappointment. The project which would have served 40,000 GPs and more than 300 British clinics, rather wound up being titled as a colossal come up short. There might have been a ton of unanswered inquiries looking for clarifications and explanations behind why they fizzled and what conceivable reasons there is forsake a project worth billion. These issues would be tended to promote in the report.

Criteria for Project Failure of Success

The failure or success of a project totally relies on the perspective of the person looking at it. Considering the different criteria already provided by project management: quality, time, scope, budget, risk andsStakeholder management, human-resource, this project is without a question a big failure.

The scope of the project was updated mid-way while the project was in progress and this caused an unavoidable rise in budget and gave the staff less time to work on the changes as the duration for the project was set beforehand. This in turn led to poor integration management. There were also no proper risk assessment strategies in place, and this left the team with no contingency plans. The outsourced teams also lost communication which led to the script getting out of track. The human resource department could not manage employees which caused termination of contracts. This eventually led to poor stakeholder management. Due to these reasons the quality of the project was falling, and the project couldn’t meet its expectations. The above stated facts demonstrate that the NHS Civilian project was a massive failure as it has failed in every criterion for a good project.

Reasons For the NHS Civilian Project Failure

Motives and Design

One of the fundamental explanations behind its disappointment was its thought processes. The project underwent a top down methodology which had a superior probability of coming up short contrasted with a bottom up methodology. Alistair Maughan, accomplice Morrison and Forester (UK) LLP, expressed on an article that one of the primary explanations behind the top-down methodology would be because of political reasons. The political impact behind the project has been shocking when the historical backdrop of open part ICT and re-appropriating is littered by legislative issues that lead to disappointment of generally projects. The inclusion of legislative issues made the project look awkward, not to mention the way that choices identified with health care must be made by the specialists of the subject. This demonstrates us the way that top dimension individuals included, their insight level and basic leadership capacity assume a vital job in the accomplishment of a project.

The team neglected to perceive the dangers and restrictions of such immense projects. The desires were so high toward the starting that they lost spotlight on the master plan and the profundity of undertakings and duties in front of them. The fashioners neglected to recognize that the more drawn out the project takes, the more probable it is to be supplanted by the refreshing present-day innovation. The structuring procedure wound up being unreasonably extensive for the authority to oversee skillfully. Pursued by privacy issues, and persistently changing the point of the structure lead to its breakdown. The structure had no choices or leave designs if there should arise an occurrence of a destruction.

Poor Contracting Process

The NHS' project acquisition show required a radical cut in timescales, causing project exchange to be refused. The agreements offered were on an 'accept the only choice available' premise experiencing an extremely forceful way to deal with legitimate cures against service suppliers. The project guides who wound up overlooking this was a long-haul project and the significance of keeping up a long-haul relationship adopted a hyper-forceful strategy to provide the executives which was not beneficial by any means.

Besides, the project connections further transformed into flares when it endeavored to compel service suppliers to badly designed uneven contracts with the guide of awkward strategies to pound through contract terms that was harsher than any time in recent memory. The service suppliers were additionally put into drawback by the execution of installment arrangements where the service suppliers needed to do practically everything forthright without installments until fruitful conveyance. The dangers being consumed by service suppliers were uncommonly high.

Scope Creep

NHS was in a race to start the project even without adequate arranging or sorting out for this colossal contract making the project an achievement around its neck. The agreement extension was so vague and prompted the point where significantly more work should have been done in the wake of consenting to key contract parameters, for example, degree and expectations. The group at first recognized this as an indication of achievement and the model for how future obtainment ought to be finished. The longing to make this project a triumph blocked as every suitable contract term were concurred direct front as opposed to glancing back at past circumstances and looking at the result. With time, as degree got unhandled, supervisors neglected to check advance against desire aggravating it.


NHS was unique in its structure of making diverse service suppliers cooperate on the project granting work in a progression of parts. The objective of this methodology was to swap diverse territorial suppliers in or out if other local suppliers fizzled. This led to end of certain agreements over the previous long stretches of the project, yet with this methodology there were others arranged to get a move on. Regardless of the way that some multisource contracts worked well, multisource wasn't a fitting methodology for NHS. The project was inappropriately arranged that there weren't any pre-characterized activities on how service suppliers would team up and adhere to a content as how issues ought to be settled.


The individuals associated with the project didn't get themselves alright with receiving to the methodology of completing what they began. Rather they had an inclination of hesitating work, ventured back at essential focuses and took unavoidable choices at specific stages. The administrators neglected to make changes and weren't set up to take extreme choices at the opportune time, which is a basic ability that should be aced by all project directors.

In addition, despite the way that the project kept running with the guide of a solid, learned project director, the odds of progress frustrated as the project kept running into inconvenience. Having less space for move and absence of supporters outside the center group made an immense effect on its disappointment. The result of a project relies on responsibility, which should be in the correct hands to guarantee achievement.

Suggestions for Future Improvements

Stakeholder Selection

The individuals engaged with the project didn't get themselves alright with embracing to the methodology of completing what they began. Rather they had an inclination of delaying work, ventured back at significant focuses and took unavoidable choices at specific stages. The administrators neglected to make alterations and weren't set up to take extreme choices at the opportune time, which is a basic aptitude that should be aced by all project directors.

Also, despite the way that the project kept running with the guide of an exceptionally solid, proficient project administrator, the odds of accomplishment impeded as the project kept running into inconvenience. Having less space for move and absence of supporters outside the center group made a colossal effect on its disappointment. The result of a project relies on responsibility, which should be in the correct hands to guarantee achievement.

Manage Outsourcing

The NHS project utilized various service suppliers dealing with a similar project and the local suppliers got swapped in or out if other local suppliers fizzled. This methodology sounds badly arranged for a project worth billion and neglected to keep all service suppliers in agreement causing defeats in its organization. The work process should be all around structured and powerful to fabricate precision and advance in general viability. All redistributing groups should be furnished with important foundation data and material that would enable them to oversee and streamline the project.

Besides, as said by Bassem Handy, VP of big business methodology, the execution of a communitarian programming stage for all groups to cooperate with quick access to project information would assist all re-appropriating parties with working together and be progressively profitable. This usage would support partners and re-appropriating groups to have perceivability into the project helping everybody remain in agreement.

In addition, the redistributing groups should have been concurred ahead of time to be kept refreshed on a fixed calendar. The match ups should be done day by day or week by week on a concurred timing, particularly if NHS somehow managed to re-appropriate service suppliers from another nation.

Eliminate Scope Creep

Every single time a project head acknowledges a degree expansion, a sensible and reasonable task rapidly escapes hand. Even the scarcest change in extension would influence the project expectations. In this way, the extension should be concurred first amid the beginning times of the project the executive’s life cycle with a consented to arrangement made with customers legitimately withstanding to the measure of work secured by the project. Any further upgrades or increments to the plan would affect the project. This was the principle purpose behind NHS project for not fulfilling its time constraint and coming up short on its financial plan. The degree increases got so wild that it straightforwardly influenced the directors' movement checks and project lost its track.

Initiate a Design Plan

structuring and executing is one of the basic stages in the project improvement life cycle. The getting ready for planning and testing stage ought to be very much kept up, with enough spending plan and time distributed for unit tests, framework tests and client manuals. The plan ought to be additionally upgraded to keep refreshed with the evolving innovation.

In addition, they should get ready for the master plan and project administrators should ensure that the structure group monitors its encouraging and has a legitimate understanding about the advancing innovation and updates should have been made in parallel with most recent innovation. Appropriate guidelines should be set up with a reasonable comprehension about the expectations and the point of the project. A reinforcement plan should be set up if the underlying arrangement comes up short. On the off chance that the accompanying principles were instituted, the destiny of this plan would been far-fetched.


Taking everything into account, the NHS project had every required asset and an adaptable spending plan dispensed to them. The expectations of elevated standards were made dependent on the supposition that assets and cash would help cut its way towards progress. NHS flopped devastatingly demonstrating everybody if assets and cash isn't dealt with appropriately, it's of no utilization to a project.

Moreover, there were botches experienced all through the project, which wasn't taken care of acceptably. Degree expansion, time and spending invades made the project look unachievable pursued by political impedance and contract terminations aggravating it. Group properties weren't well set up and flighty colleagues was a weight for its prosperity. Legitimate activities weren't chosen, and the project had no reinforcement plans.

Additionally, basic achievement factors were talked about on the report featuring things that could have been done another way. This included setting up group qualities, overseeing extension, overseeing re-appropriating, partner choice and configuration plans. The fundamental estimates weren't pursued, and project administrators got blindfolded by the last finished result that they lost spotlight on present undertakings.

To wrap things up, the NHS project would have been a pleased finished result serving 40000 GPs and 300 British medical clinics if the correct measures were taken at the absolute starting point of the project yet because of its flighty partners and poor administration, it wound up being a gigantic disappointment getting destroyed following 10 years, in 2012. 


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  • Cresswell, K. M., Bates, D. W., & Sheikh, A. (2013). Ten key considerations for the successful implementation and adoption of large-scale health information technology. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(e1), e9-e13.
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