The reason for Fujitsu’s recent decision to pull out of the National Programme for IT in the UK’s National Health Service (NPFIT) was the constant need for local changes to centrally mandated NHS IT systems, MPs have been told.
The Public Accounts Committee was told by Fujitsu Services director Peter Hutchinson that local hospital trusts withheld payment in order to force the firm to make changes to the system that were not part of the contractual agreement.
The committee had called on Mr Hutchinson, as well as key figures in the NHS, to give his views on the problems plaguing the £12.7bn NPFIT. He told MPs that Fujitsu’s original brief was for standardisation of systems, but that the constant need to change systems to meet local requirements had been a major cause of the delay.
However, David Nicholson, chief executive officer of the NHS, said: “There has been a lot of discussions between us and Fujitsu on what constitutes contract change and what constitutes non-delivery of the contract and my guess is that is going to be the subject of a whole series of discussions in the next period.”
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