NHS IT suppliers given November ultimatum

The big suppliers to the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) have been given seven months to make their systems work, or risk losing their contracts.

Christine Connelly, director general of informatics at the DoH, said: ‘If we don't see significant progress by the end of November 2009, then we will move to a new plan for delivering informatics to healthcare.’

The decision marks a radical climbdown from existing plans to deliver NPfIT.

Connecting for Health has been widely criticised for awarding regional block contracts to deliver the patient record systems, instead of allowing local competition.

Two of the suppliers, BT and CSC, have struggled to deliver either on time or to budget, while a third last year left the programme altogether.

Ms Connelly also proposed to allow hospital trusts in southern England not covered by BT to use the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity framework to procure their new IT systems.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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