A survey published today has found 91% of doctors do not think the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) will improve health services.

Only 9% of doctors are optimistic about the ongoing £6-billion project to overhaul and centralise National Health Service (NHS) patient records, appointment booking and prescriptions IT, but most aren't ready to abandon it.

The survey of 3,000 doctors, by The Times newspaper and doctors.net.uk, showed 91% of doctors question whether the NPfIT will change the health service for the better.

More than three-quarters surveyed were frustrated by the project, while just 7% thought it should be given more funding to succeed.

A previous study by the body leading the NPfIT ‘Connecting for Health’ project, found the majority of doctors, nurses and other health staff thought the programme was fairly or very important. But only 38% of doctors in that study had a favourable opinion of the NPfIT so far.

A British Medical Association (BMA) spokesperson reportedly said the programme’s acceptance by the medical profession had been hampered by not being involved from its start.

The programme’s troubled progress, including uncertainty surrounding its main clinical records software provider iSoft, has led to a number of criticisms from public, academic and medical professional bodies.

The House of Commons Select Health Committee is currently collecting submissions of evidence for an inquiry into the NPfIT, with a 16-March deadline.