NHS managers who are being given 'local ownership' of the national programme for IT will be expected to take 'local responsibility' for it, Lord Hunt has said.

The health minister told the Healthcare Computing conference in Harrogate that when the programme was created in 2002 there was no alternative to its centralised approach; but enough progress had been made to make 'local ownership possible', he said. He added that himself and NHS chief executive David Nicholson would be meeting trust boards and chief executives to make sure 'they understand this has to be an absolute priority for them'.

Shortly before the conference opened, the Department of Health announced that the late-running summary care record for every patient in England will be piloted at two GP practices in Bolton.