Damning report into €33 million HSE laboratory project finds complexity of delivery was “seriously underestimated”

A report into a €33 million HSE project found major flaws and that those involved “seriously underestimated” its complexity leading to lengthy delays in its rollout.

The MedLIS project was designed to streamline laboratory information so that healthcare providers nationwide had access to complete and up-to-date data.

However, the project has been beset by delays with an internal report finding the original project plan was unrealistic and based on a “very aggressive timeline” that was never likely to be met.

The confidential report by consultants Mazars said delivery had been based on nine key assumptions, none of which proved to be correct.

It also found that a revised project plan was optimistic and that many of the staff involved were already “highly sceptical” about it being completed ahead of newly set deadlines.

The report said: “A failure to deliver the next approved plan will seriously impact the credibility of MedLIS project, the morale of the project team, and may create negative media coverage.”

Mazars found the contract had been agreed based on an underestimate of what was involved and the significant differences in how the 43 laboratories covered operated.

It also said the national project management team – which was made up of three people – was far too small for the task.

“It may simply not have the time required to effectively manage the project on a day-to-day basis,” said the report.