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Sunday 24th June 2018

Caution urged over BT deal

30th June 2006

Richard Bacon, MP, a senior member of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has written to health secretary Patricia Hewitt asking her to prevent the appointment of Cerner as the new software supplier for NHS systems in London.

The Conservative backbencher and MP for South Norfolk has asked the health secretary to block the possible move by BT to replace its software supplier for electronic patient records in London with US based Cerner because he has concerns about “the performance of Cerner so far in the South of England.?

If BT were to change software supplier it would leave the £6.2bn NHS IT programme dependent on two software suppliers: US-based Cerner, which is still adapting its Millennium software to the UK and troubled UK firm iSoft, which is running late on delivering its Lorenzo software.

Bacon urged the health secretary to block any switch saying, "The main contractors such as British Telecom will not appoint major suppliers without the agreement of Connecting for Health, which is answerable to ministers, so this silly and rather hasty step can be prevented."

Rather than switch to another single supplier Bacon has urged Mrs Hewitt to give trusts a choice of local systems saying that it would make much more sense to allow individual NHS trusts to choose for themselves the software supplier they want within a common framework.


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