Player Roster 6
Health Secretary, Great Britain
Prime Minister, Great Britain
Blair was reportedly sold on the idea of revamping the entire British health services through technology at a 2001 meeting with Microsoft's Bill Gates. Ever since, Blair has staunchly defended the program despite cost overruns and setbacks. He touts the National Program for Information Technology (NPfIT) as one of his government's greatest achievements. "This is going to be a place where people come from all over the world and say, 'This is how health care should be done,'" the prime minister stated recently.
Director General of I.T., NHS
Granger was hired by NHS in October 2002 to modernize information technology for the entire British health-care system. Granger divided England into five regions, giving out billion-pound, 10-year contracts to so-called Local Service Providers, which would be responsible for implementing I.T. initiatives in their respective regions. These agreements stipulated that the LSPs wouldn't get paid until the systems they were implementing were functioning satisfactorily.
William D. Green
Chairman and CEO, Accenture
Under Green, Accenture won the biggest share of the NPfIT contract, but soon began encountering delays with its chief subcontractor, U.K. health-care software provider iSoft. As a result, Accenture's implementation schedule slipped badly, causing the consultancy to lose money on the project. After Accenture set aside $450 million to cover its losses, Green said he was hoping to renegotiate with Connecting for Health (CfH), the group supervising the program. When CfH head Richard Granger refused to renegotiate, Accenture announced it was walking away from the deala contract worth nearly $4 billion.
Gates is viewed as the godfather of the NPfIT because he reportedly sold Tony Blair on the benefits of bringing the digital revolution into every doctor's office and hospital in Great Britain. In the process, the British government signed an Enterprise Subscription Agreement (ESA) with Microsoft for 900,000 desktops for Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 and various client access licenses. Microsoft also is developing a common user interface for CfH. Gates received an honorary knighthood in 2005.
Consultant and author
A longtime NHS official, and currently a consultant and frequent speaker on health informatics issues, Brennan last year wrote a book on the NHS I.T. initiative, The NHS IT Project: The Biggest Computer Program in the World Ever! He writes a monthly column for the British Journal of Healthcare Computing.
John Pugh and Richard Bacon
Members of Parliament (MPs)
Last summer Pugh, a Liberal Democrat from Southport, and Bacon, a conservative from Norfolk, issued a scathing report on the NPfIT, saying the program is "sleepwalking toward disaster."