A consortium of 56 NHS bodies has signed a £16.5m contract with IB Solutions to host Oracle business applications.
IB Solutions is a subsidiary of Australian firm IBA Health Group, which last year completed the purchase of troubled software firm iSoft – a key supplier to the health service’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT – after a lengthy on-off saga.
Under the 10-year managed service contract, IB Solutions will host Oracle's Financials and Procurement applications for the North East Patches shared system group (NEP), a group of NHS trusts and strategic health authorities mainly in the north of England.
NEP was set up in April 2002 to provide NHS organisations with an expandable, single-instance common technology platform for financial and procurement services and financial management. Northumbria Healthcare foundation trust acts as the host organisation for the management of contractual and financial relationships.
The deal will also see NEP and IB Solutions jointly implement a two-year graduate recruitment programme, in which recruits will spend the first year working with the IT services firm and the second working directly with the NHS consortium. IB Solutions will also provide 150 days a year for consultancy, business reviews and training.
NEP programme director Bob Telford said: “We are getting a cost-effective solution from a proven supplier.” The consortium had “a genuine partnership with IB Solutions which is now underpinned by the investment from the IBA Health Group,” he added.
The contract extends the services supplied under a previous five-year agreement, which has come to an end. It will cover provision to new consortium members if NEP expands during the lifetime of the contract.
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