By Marcus Leach

An independent report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) has laid bare how the last government frittered away taxpayers' money on an IT vanity project without proper planning and without any attempt to secure value for money.

The NAO's report stated that the rate at which electronic care records systems are being put in place across the NHS under the National Programme for IT is 'falling far below expectations'.

The report, The National Programme for IT in the NHS: an update on the delivery of detailed care records, went on to conclude that the £2.7 billion spent so far on care records systems 'does not represent value for money'.

Responding to the report, Conservative Health Minister Simon Burns said:

"In the North, the Midlands and the East only 4 per cent of hospital records systems have actually been installed. A decade on and £6.4 billion down, all Labour managed to deliver was a patchy IT system that experts now confirm has failed its core objectives. This has been an expensive farce from the beginning.

"This report underlines exactly why we need to modernise the NHS and why we are taking firm steps to drive better value for taxpayers' money out of all major government projects."