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Friday 28th October 2016

New suppliers sought for NPfIT

8th March 2007

The NHS has taken steps to open up the market for software suppliers for its £6.2bn IT programme.

The move threatens the original plan to provide an integrated IT system across the health service using centrally bought software.

Now the government is drawing up a list of accredited alternative suppliers in response to the delays and disillusioned hospital trusts who have begun to look for alternatives. The system should have been in place by 2004.

EuroKing, Clinisys, Ascribe and System C have already won contracts with several trusts.

This marks a change in direction for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which had relied on iSoft and Cerner to provide much of its new services.

Delays have been caused after hospitals experienced problems adapting Cerner's basic patient administration system (PAS) to the UK, while setbacks in iSoft's development means trusts are using repackaged older products as a temporary measure.

Alternative suppliers will have to make their systems compatible with the NPfIT.

The government said the search for alternative suppliers was a contingency against further problems.

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