NHS £13bn IT contractors in string of critical failures

BT and CSC, contractors on the £12.7 billion NHS National Programme for IT, have been listed as making over 112 serious failures in the last fifteen months.

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BT and CSC, contractors on the £12.7 billion NHS National Programme for IT, have been listed as making over 112 serious failures in the last fifteen months.

The contractors either failed to hit key milestones or provided a service that was significantly below what was paid for.

The programme is already over four years behind schedule, has a spiralling budget and has been branded in the press as being "close to imploding".

CSC failed to hit milestones in January, June, August, September, October and December last year. It failed to provide detailed implementation or remediation plans on time in August, September and December. The information was revealed in a parliamentary written answer by health minister Mike O' Brien.

In October, CSC also failed to make a payment to the Department for Health, possibly referring to a penalty payment for late delivery. In total, CSC was noted to have made 41 serious failures since January last year.

It has been reported that CSC’s deadline date of tomorrow for delivering the iSoft Lorenzo system at an acute trust, Morecambe Bay, will also be missed. While a new deadline has apparently been pencilled in for early April, health website E-Health Insider has in recent weeks said sources claim “a meaningful go-live” will not come until “later this year, and possibly much later” than that.

If CSC misses the deadline, it is at risk of losing its £3 billion contract on the programme. But, as one of only two suppliers left, observers have said it is likely to retain its work.

Meanwhile BT, which serves the London part of the National Programme with a £1 billion contract as well as running the ‘spine’ of data, was counted to have made 71 failures in the period.

BT’s failures were mainly critical service problems, in August, September, October, November, January, February and March.

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