The government has said it could increase the value of Fujitsu’s £897 million NHS Connecting for Health contract, as part of ongoing negotiations.
New services are being considered under the deal, which covers the southern region of the UK except London, and this could mean adding costs.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw told MPs that the negotiations may mean extra functionality is added, of which the costs would be “properly reflected” in the total sum. But this is unlikely to change the main scope of the work being done.
“The contract reset process allows for the option of agreeing enhancements to existing services or functionality that need to be supported by a business case and to be approved through normal governance processes,” he said in Parliament.
“Such changes would be properly reflected in the total contract value.”
An industry source told Computerworld UK that the Fujitsu contract was being reset to allow for more localisation of services.
The current setup provides standard services across the southern region, which Fujitsu covers, the source said, but the negotiations may allow for some services to be added to meet the specific needs of individual local NHS trusts.
Adding extra features to Fujitsu’s services meant the overall value of the contract was likely to add some costs, the source said, but this was not inevitable.
The NHS and the Department for Health declined to comment on the talks.
A reset in January of the contract with BT, which supplies the London part of the NHS’ £12.4 billion Connecting for Health programme, led to an additional £55 million in payments being promised, on top of the near billion pound deal.
At the time, Bradshaw pointed out that the increase did not change the scope of the contract, nor change responsibility for delivery. He said contract resets took place to reflect the “evolving needs” of the NHS.
Contract discussions are still continuing with CSC, which is running the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, North East and East regions of the programme, the NHS confirmed.