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By | John Oates 18th June 2007 08:36

NHS IT boss quits

Richard Granger is off

The boss of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), the huge government project to improve technology use within the National Health Service, is to leave his post in October.

Richard Granger, the UK's highest paid civil servant, said the decision was a personal one, but that he left as the foundations for the project are in place. Granger was paid £280,000 a year for his work.

Granger has been in the news recently because of trouble at iSoft, one of the project's main suppliers.

Granger is returning to the private sector and said he was considering a number of offers.

In a statement, Granger said: "My decision should be seen in the context of the changing role of the centre of the NHS and the fact that when I took on this challenge I said I would give this job five years."

Granger told the Financial Times he wanted to spend more time with his three young children after a job he described as "quite simply relentless".

He said: "I am proud of what has been achieved by the team I established following my appointment in October 2002." He admitted there were "challenges ahead".

The NPfIT is the world's largest civil IT project with an aim to provide every patient in the UK with an electronic medical record. Consultants Accenture decided to withdraw from the project in 2006. The project has also been hit by problems at iSoft, a major supplier, which is being investigated for alleged accounting irregularities and is in the midst of a takeover battle between CSC and IBA Health.

The Department of Health said an announcement regarding Granger's successor would be made in due course.

The Connecting for Health statement is here. ®

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