Resellers have rebutted suggestions by a leading NHS figure that the Service's £6bn IT spending spree is in chaos because of the number of suppliers involved.
However, VARs said the rush by NHS Trusts to meet certain government criteria before they can secure more funding is causing some confusion.
Dr Peter Hutton, who resigned as head of the National Clinical Advisory Board last month, said key contracts must be reviewed. There is no clear timeframe for parts of the project to be completed, he said, and applications and user interfaces (UI) will not be common across regions.
"There is a danger that this aspiration (for common UI and functionality) might get lost in the multiplicity of suppliers working at a local level," Dr Hutton said in a report.
However, a representative for the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), said: "The NPfIT continues in its aim to have an immediately recognisable screen lay-out and system functionality wherever systems are installed."
But VARs working on the NPfIT said it is inevitable that there will be some differences between sites and departments, and in some cases it is necessary.
John Griffith, public-sector consultant at VAR cScape, said: "I can understand why a common UI is a good goal. We spend a lot of time on interface design.
But the way the NPfIT is being rolled out does not cater for this."
John Crowe, a director at consultant Stoneleigh, said time- frames have to be flexible because different installations are at varying stages of readiness. This can give the impression of delays and confusion, he said.
"It depends on what has already been installed at a Trust, or even the geographical lay-out of the buildings," Crowe said. "Some Trusts have much greater challenges than others, but they all have plans in place.
The level of professionalism in NHS IT departments has rocketed."
But one reseller said a drive for bedside services for patients - a key funding criteria - had made other installations more difficult. "Commercial bedside services installs can cause hassles for more important projects," the VAR said.
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