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Southern ASCC child and community axed

28 October 2011   Shanna Crispin

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.


Related Articles:

News: DH tests interest in ASCC South | 10 March 2011
6 Insight: Very well, alone | 12 August 2010
4 News: ASCC acute gets go ahead | 10 February 2011
Insight: Suppliers set out vision for ASCC | 15 May 2008
2 News: Deadline looms for ASCC in the South | 7 January 2011
4 Insight: Inside story - ASCC | 8 May 2008
4 News: ASCC community procurement restarts | 1 November 2010
1 Insight: ASCC clinical contracts in full | 7 May 2008
1 Insight: ASCC suppliers named | 24 January 2008
News: ASCC procurements for the South | 4 November 2009
2 News: ASCC clinical shortlist due | 1 May 2008
3 News: ASCC 'symbol' of return to local procurement | 20 September 2007
1 News: ASCC long list published | 15 August 2007
Last updated: 31 October 2011 07:35

© 2011 EHealth Media.


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Providers of (non)solutions are not the only ones to 'challenge'

Jean Roberts 120 weeks ago

Whilst the products identified seem not fit for purpose, we have to also ask, were the NHS procurement processes fit for purpose? Could I suggest that complex commercial contracting for mega-million pound deals relating to deliverables with multiple (optional and possibly customisable) parts in a specialist domain from vendor consortia who may have been based in more than one country and subject to different legislations MIGHT, JUST MIGHT have challenged teams who are usually procuring big single item machines or general office equipment and loo rolls??


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Bravo

Futureviewer 129 weeks ago

The NHS has to stop hiding behind the big fat cat middlemen in the hope that they will bear the risk of failure and learn to buy cost effectively, negotiate effectively and deliver. It%u219s not rocket science. This obsession in offsetting risk by throwing money at big companies has proven it doesn%u219t work. Big companies spend millions on legal counsel and can produce contracts so complex that no one, least of all NHS Supplies, can understand them. NPfIT was surrounded in secrecy for this very reason and look where those contracts got us.

Bravo to whoever decided to can the ASCC and not before time.


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Would an organisation with an ASCC contract have a monopoly?

Mary Hawking 129 weeks ago

I had thought that ASCC would have provided a stable of approved products from which purchasing organisations could chose.

"The contract, which has been awaiting signature since February, would have seen CSC supply 17 trusts in the South with TPP%u219s community system."

Does this mean that a successful bidder would have the right to supply all the Trusts in the cluster with their product - regardless of the wishes or requirements of the individual Trusts? (which was the business model for the original LSP contracts)


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Mary Hawking
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Monopoly?

Daniel Defoe 129 weeks ago

Mary, it became clear a long time ago that the people running the "ASCC for the South" didn't understand the ASCC procurement route, and didn't know what it was they were doing. What they appeared to be attempting to do was to procure a "framework within a framework", and quite who the ASCC Service Agreements were going to be between remained a mystery. Another 18 months or so wasted along with the cost of employing consultants and deploying NHS staff to achieve diddly squat.


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Dead parrot? More like mummified parrot

Daniel Defoe 129 weeks ago

I really don't understand why "... The fate of the related acute and ambulance ASCC southern procurements remains uncertain...". It'll go the same way as the Child and Community Health procurement, and fully deserves to. if anybody looks carefully, there's no longer "...25 acute trusts in the South..." interested (if that number really was true) since many of them are already making progress with procurements of their own without waiting for this shambles to be declared officially dead. And let's remember that the ASCC Framework (for the Services in question) expires on 1st May 2012, so the chances of anything being concluded by then are remote. I'd really like to know how much the NHS in the South has wasted on this shambles. FoIA anybody?


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Daniel Defoe
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Cut out the middle man

bournissen 129 weeks ago

So all we need is for Logica, BT, CSC etc who must ramp up the costs and deliver little value to exit quietly. Surely Civica (Paris), CSC (Rio) and TPP can supply fit for purpose systems without the additional overhead. Why we always need this 'prime contractor' concept has always bewildered me. They are not needed.


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bournissen
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Reminds me of the Monty Python "dead parrot" sketch - (its dead, oh no it isnt).

It is I, LeClerc 129 weeks ago

This programme was so clearly a dead some 2 years ago, yet CFH just wouldn't admit as much in public, so dragging out the search for a practical solution forward.

ASCC community did much to be commended "earlier", lets praise that and move on - its sell by date has well expired.


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Oh dear - more grammar!

KeepItSimple 129 weeks ago

<with the trust%u219s affected> ....!!! What in the single trust is affected?


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less grammar

Lyn from eHealth Insider 129 weeks ago

Our misplaced apostrophe is no more...


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