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Patient records project 'cancelled'

12th May 2011

The future of the biggest single contract in the NHS’s £11 billion electronic patients record project is under threat.

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It has emerged that Prime Minister David Cameron and senior ministers are considering cancelling all or part of the biggest single contract in the NHS-wide project.

Such a move would effectively see the end of the programme in its current form.

Mr Cameron has revealed that all options were on the table in CSC’s £3bn deal to install systems across the north, midlands and east of England after the company missed more deadlines to get its Lorenzo patient record software working.

That scenario now means that only BT, which is responsible for London and a few hospitals in the south, would remain of the original four major suppliers.

Conservative MP Richard Bacon, from the Commons public accounts committee, told Mr Cameron that the programme would never deliver its early promise of a record for all 50 million patients in England.

Already years behind schedule, some £7.4bn of the original £11.4bn budget is unspent.

Mr Bacon said better ways must be found of spending that money.

CSC has been under threat of being removed from the programme after missing several deadlines to get the software working in a major hospital and a mental health hospital has since walked away from the programme.

CSC took over from Accenture in 2006. In 2008, the NHS dismissed Fujitsu for underperformance, though there is an ongoing legal battle between the company and the NHS over that decision.

 

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