Information management and technology (IM&T) in primary care groups and trusts: the gap between national strategy and local implementation
Primary care groups and trusts (PCG/Ts) are key to the successful implementation of the NHS information strategy, Information for Health. This study describes the current levels of IM&T within PCG/Ts and their constituent general practices and examines the ability of PCG/Ts to support the delivery of national targets. Results are derived from the National Tracker Survey of Primary Care Groups and Trusts, which uses a stratified sample of 72 (15%) of PCG/Ts.
The findings indicate that although PCG/Ts are beginning to identify their priorities and work on the huge development agenda in primary care, they may have difficulties meeting both local and national targets. PCG/Ts need additional, appropriately skilled staff and better information to support the planning process. They also need access to high quality data from a range of sources to support their key functions. The quality of data currently available to PCG/Ts is generally perceived by IM&T leads as being poor and is seriously hindering progress. The paper concludes that there is a gap between the vision described in the national information strategy and the ability of local organizations to deliver targets. If the national strategy is to be implemented successfully it may need to be adapted in the light of the findings presented.(Published Online October 31 2006)
Key Words: implementation; information management and technology; information strategy; primary care; information systems.
c1 Address for correspondence: Diane Jones, National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, 5th Floor Williamson Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org