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NHS IT contractor pulls out


29 May, 2008  

The programme to create a single records system for patients in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), has suffered a further setback with the termination of a key supplier’s contract.

Negotiations between the NHS’s Connecting for Health programme and Japan-based contractor Fujitsu broke down, BBC News was told.

The contract was to install the new IT programme across the south of England over 10 years, and was worth £896m.

The newspaper the Financial Times reported that the collapse of the deal was due to the NHS’ demand for more flexibility in providing the electronic health records.

Although the IT programme is four years late, it is still broadly on budget, due to a renegotiation of contracts to include fines for missed deadlines. The project, launched in 2002, was due to be completed by 2010, and is expected to cost £12.7bn.

Only two main contractors remain in the scheme, one of the world’s largest, of an original four. US firm Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) runs the project in the north, Midlands and east of England, and BT built the infrastructure and runs the project in London.

The fourth contractor, Accenture, pulled out two years ago, with CSC agreeing to cover its work.

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