Updated 15.40pm 30/11/10
Conservative Richard Bacon - who knows more about the National Programme for IT in the NHS than any other MP - has been tenacious in his questioning of a payment to BT of £546m.
In August 2010 Bacon wrote to the National Audit Office seeking an investigation into the £546m NPfIT payment. He said £400m of the £546m had not been properly accounted for and so raised questions about the proper use of public money.
Now the NAO has obtained from the Department of Health a breakdown of the £546m, which shows that officials paid BT £224.3m for 25 deployments of the "Rio" mental health and community system, including support until October 2015.
NHS supplier Maracis has evidence that Rio deployments outside the NPfIT have each cost less than £1m, including five years of support. This would suggest that the payment to BT of £224.3m could be as much as £200m more than necessary.
The NAO also reported to Bacon that the Department paid BT £182m for taking over seven NHS sites that had installed the Cerner Millennium patient administration system when Fujitsu was the local service provider. The £182m comprises £108.9 for five years of service management of the seven NHS sites and £73.8m for transferring the work of the seven sites to BT's data centre.
NHS IT suppliers say that the seven NHS organisations could have bought new and advanced patient administration systems, including support for five years, for a maximum of £15m per site, or £105m in total.
Breakdown of the £546m contract awarded to BT under the Southern Programme for IT
1) 25 Rio deployments at mental health and community trusts, including service management until October 2015. £224.3m (c)
2)Service management for seven live in the BT data centre - April 2010 to October 2015. - £108.9m
3) Transfer of seven live sites to a BT data centre £73.8m (a)
4) Service management for eight live sites in Fujitsu data centre - July 2009 to March 2010 i.e. prior to transferring the services to BT data centre. (see (a) and (b) - £35.1m
5) Four new Cerner Millennium deployments at acute trusts, including service management until October 2015 - £65m (c)
6) Upgrade of six live sites from Cerner Millennium R0 to LC1 - £16.5m
7) Other including TUPE, clinical safety work, integration, resolution of known defects in Cerner Millennium Release R0, delivery of data set change notices, provision for contract change notices - £12.2m (a)
a) Includes costs arising from the termination of the Fujitsu contract.
b) These costs were set by Fujitsu and were higher than those in the original local service provider contract. The Department is seeking to recover the increase in costs as part of its ongoing dispute with Fujitsu.
c) The Department told the NAO that these costs were determined on the basis of the costs of BT’s existing London local service provider contract - Change Control Notice 2