CSC, a key supplier to the NHS’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT), has appointed two NHS managers to beef up its UK healthcare business – one of whom will continue to work for the NHS as well.
CSC is the lead contractor for three of NPfIT’s five regions, following the pull-out of Accenture last year.
The IT contractor named Pearse Butler, formerly chief executive of the Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority, as director of clinical engagement, while Rajan Madhok, medical director at Manchester primary care trust, has been appointed clinical director, in a move CSC said would support its approach to engaging with health professionals.
But Madhok will retain his NHS post, and will “divide his time between his new position at CSC and his duties as medical director of the Manchester PCT”, the company said.
Dr Richard Vautrey, IT lead on the British Medical Association’s GP negotiating committee, warned that Madhok should “declares his conflict of interest in any settings where it may be necessary for him to do so”.
He said: “There are many people in the NHS who have different hats and different responsibilities that put them into potential conflict – it’s not unusual for people to be working on both sides of the fence”.
But he added: “It is important that those doing business with people [who have] conflicts of interest know about them.” Local GP practices covered by Manchester PCT “should be informed so they can make decisions in an informed way”, Vautrey said.
“One of the things we have been pushing for is greater clinical involvement [in NPfIT] and one of the things you can get is this sort of difficult situation. The important thing is to declare it.”
A spokesperson for CSC said: "CSC do not see there would be any conflict of interest - Rajan Madhok is not working in a commercial role at CSC, he is working in a relationship/engagement role, engaging with health professionals on the National Programme for IT."
A Manchester PCT spokesperson said: "Mr Madhok’s decision to take up the post with CSC was considered and agreed with the chief executive of Manchester PCT. It was considered important to support the Connecting for Health programme and provide vital clinical leadership to help expedite future progress on this key element of NHS reform."
Pearse Butler was a senior representative for NPfIT’s North West and West Midlands region – one of three where CSC is lead contractor. The Cumbria and Lancashire SHA was abolished in an NHS reorganisation last year. Butler has also been chief executive at an acute hospital trust.