The long running, stop-start ASCC procurement for child and community systems in the South of England was stopped earlier this week.
The move raises big doubts over the related acute and ambulance procurements in the region.
EHealth Insider reported earlier this year that CSC was tipped to win the child and community health contract procured under the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity framework catalogue.
The contract, which has been awaiting signature since February, would have seen CSC supply 17 trusts in the South with TPP’s community system.
However, the Department of Health has confirmed to EHI that none of the bidders have been awarded the contract because the deals on offer were too expensive.
“We were unable to award a contract under the current ASCC community and child health procurement due to the supplier’s failure to demonstrate value for money,” it said.
In today’s statement the DH said it was working with the trusts affected to look for other options outside of the ASCC framework.
“We are now working with trusts in the South to assess other options which provide systems and service that meet the needs of a modern NHS and support high quality patient care.”
Other bidders for the contract were BT, with CSE Healthcare’s RiO system, and Logica with the Paris child health system.
The fate of the related acute and ambulance ASCC southern procurements remains uncertain. The Southern acute ASCC deal was to have covered 25 acute trusts in the South left in the lurch after Fujitsu’s contract was ended in April 2008.
ASCC became the focus of attention for suppliers and trusts in the region in November 2009 when the then-NHS director general of IT, Christine Connelly, said NHS would run a series of procurements utilising the ASCC framework in January 2010.
After an initial flurry of activity, the procurements have been stop start ever since.
The news may be a harbinger of things to come for CSC, which remains without a new memorandum of understanding for a new local service provider contract for the North Midlands and East.
Some observers have seen ASCC as a litmus test of whether CSC would get a new NME deal.
The Cabinet Office’s recent Major Projects Authority Review said in September the business case for the overall project, including acute and ambulance procurements, had not yet been approved because of “concerns on the overall confidence of delivery of the programme”.
However, it went on to recommend the government continue with the ASCC framework procurements because; “stopping the use of the framework will slow progress in a region which has already been disappointed by Fujitsu withdrawal”.
As a result of the decision trusts in the region have no obvious route to get new systems other than finding the resources locally and going to market directly.
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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