Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 Page 6

The£6.2bn Connecting For Health IT programme is in danger of being 'derailed' because of increasing demands being placed on it, according to leaked e-mails.

The correspondence, leaked to the Sunday Times, reveal a dispute between the project's director general, Richard Granger, and Department of Health director for access and patient choice Margaret Edwards.

Mr Granger censured Ms Edwards for her 'consistently late requests' to change specifications to the choose and book programme, which 'will not enable us to rescue the missed opportunities and targets'.

He added: 'Choose and book's£20m IT build contract is now in grave danger if derailing, not just destabilising, a£6.2bn programme.' A DoH spokeswoman refuted the claim, saying there was 'no question' of the programme being derailed'.

'The foundation blocks have been successfully delivered and new system deployments are gathering pace, ' she added.