NHS head takes grilling from MPs

The Publics Accounts Committee is taking evidence from the chief executive of the NHS Sir David Nicholson and senior officials from the Department of Health on the national NHS IT programme.

Launched in 2002 at a cost of £11.4bn, the programme was designed to link all parts of the NHS in England. The Committee is pulling no punches, with Nicholson looking very uncomfortable as he’s grilled on overblown costs, missed deadlines, lack of leadership and even gagging clauses.

Earlier today, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the commons he has suspended plans to cut children’s heart units at three hospitals, including the Royal Brompton in west London, although he stressed that there is a consensus behind the need to reform.