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No CSC deal until NAO reports - PM

11 May 2011   Lyn Whitfield and Gozde Zorlu

Prime Minister David Cameron

The Prime Minister has said that no changes will be made to CSC's deal under the National Programme for IT in the NHS until the National Audit Office completes its latest investigation into the programme.

Responding to a question from MP Richard Bacon at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron said he was making no plans to sign any new contracts, or to terminate some or all of the existing contract with CSC, until the NAO reports.

However, this may not significantly hold up a new deal for the local service provider for the North, Midlands and East of England, since the NAO is due to make its report next Wednesday.

Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, and a persistent critic of the national programme, triggered the investigation by asking questions about the value for money of the revised LSP deals signed with BT for London and parts of the South of England.

His question today was part of an attempt to ensure scrutiny of any new deal for the NME, where CSC has missed a series of targets to deploy iSoft’s Lorenzo electronic patient record software.

Although the last of four ‘early adopter’ sites, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, pulled out of taking the software last month, CSC recently told the stockmarket that it was confident of getting a new memorandum of understanding within weeks.

The MOU is likely to see the company asked to deliver a cut-down version of Lorenzo to fewer trusts, with more flexibility for trusts to decide whether to take the system or not.

Bacon has written to Cameron, urging him to get the Cabinet Office and its minister, Francis Maude, involved in negotiations, arguing that it will be in a better position to negotiate with CSC because of its cross-government reach.

Today’s question asked the Prime Minister: “What discussions he has had with the Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Secretary of State for Health on the performance of Computer Sciences Corporation in installing Lorenzo software within the National Programme for IT in the NHS.”

In response, Cameron said contract changes would not be made until the NAO reports and the PAC holds a meeting on its report.

He also gave some general figures about the programme, saying the present government had cut £1.3 billion from what was once a £12.7 billion project, with £500m coming from CSC. He said £4.7 billion remained unspent.

Responding to PMQs, Bacon told eHealth Insider: “I am very pleased that the Prime Minister stated that no new agreement will be concluded before the NAO report is published and the PAC has had the opportunity to consider it.

"It sounded very much as if all options are now on the table. I understand that the review is probably going to be quite critical of the national programme.

"For some years the national programme has been in a state of denial. It’s quite obvious that Lorenzo has failed. It’s not going to succeed. The reason why there has been so little activity is that there is nothing worth installing."

Bacon added that he continued to hope the NAO report would "trigger a fundamental rethink." 

He also said that any attempts to save the programme would be "futile", arguing there had been "promises after promises" for many years that things would improve. “It is in the interest of taxpayers and patients that we move on,” he concluded.

The NAO website says its latest report will look at “what progress has been made since the last NAO report in 2008 in terms of deployments and functionality delivered, and at what cost.”

The report will be published next Wednesday, 18 May. The Public Accounts Committee will take evidence on the report on 23 May.

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Related Articles:

1 News: PM to face questions on CSC | 9 May 2011
11 Insight: Insider view: Jon Hoeksma | 21 April 2011
5 News: Bacon writes to Cameron on CSC talks | 7 April 2011
5 News: NAO launches NPfIT investigation | 1 December 2010
Last updated: 18 May 2011 14:19

© 2011 EHealth Media.


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Enterprise EPR

janetbrowne@atlantaint.co 188 weeks ago

A small company in Greece have successfully implemented a number of comprehensive EPR's where one system enables information to be shared across care boundaries - acute, community clinics and GP's - Crete for example....7 acute hospitals, 23 community clinics and over 100 GP practices. The system is also multilingual.


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A question of scale

Nick Tordoff 188 weeks ago

Population of Crete 623,666 from Wikipedia

Population of English region about 5 Million.

There are health communities which have made major steps towards this, generally focussed around a single or a couple of acute trusts. it is joining it up more widely that is the problem.


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To scale or not to scale

CanUseeTheLight 187 weeks ago

Not sure if this reposne was for or against such a 'radical' idea as expressd by Janet Brown. However scalability is a simple technology platform issue. If a software soluiton is built on the correct platform its number of users and the amount of data it holds is simpley a hadware issue.


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Value for Money

Diogenes 188 weeks ago

JacquesOuze et al: Note that Richard Bacon MP has written to Christine Connelly twice asking for an explicit assurance that she thinks the existing LSP arrangements, and the BT and possible CSC resets, represent value for money. Ms Connelly's replies very evidently avoid giving any such assurance. It is highly unlikely, in my opinion, that the NAO will conclude any differently, although of course we must wait and see.


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Value for money

Contrarian 188 weeks ago

You hardly need to be an auditor to work out there is no value for money for the taxpayer in the LSP contracts.

For London you have 18-20 million for a deployment of RiO, which can be procured and deployed locally for 1-2 million, so a gap of 17-18 million.

For Lorenzo you have similar. Although you'll only get part of a deployment, and that will be of software that doesn't work.

For Cerner I have seen costs of 50 million a deployment, unknown local procurement cost.

In terms of CSC performance. They have not delivered a working Lorenzo solution on a Trust wide basis. Does anything else need saying?

If the NAO report finds value for money it would be interesting to know where.


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RiO £1 to £2 Million ???

CanUseeTheLight 188 weeks ago

This still seems like a very poor value for money. How is it the State Hopital in Scotland can have full RiO for 5 years at sub £500K and Somerset Partnership NHS and Social Care Trust paid less than £700K over 5 years and that included Servelec effetively building the RiO solution from the ground up. To borrow from Douglas Adams (and tweeak) This is clearly a use of the phrase 'Value For Money' with which I have been previously unfamiliar.


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17 1/2 to 18 million

Contrarian 188 weeks ago

I don't think I'm disagreeing with you. All this does is suggest a gap of betweeb 17 1/2 and 18 million between a local cost of deployment and that offered via LSP.

LSP would appear not to be the most cost effective use of taxpayers money and achieves very little economies of scale, in fact I can't see any.

Although I may be missing something very obvious and in fact LSP contracts have delivered everything they should and to a quality standard, e.g. Lorenzo.


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Value for money?

DANCECLOTHEARS 188 weeks ago

"He also gave some general figures about the programme, saying the present government had cut £1.3 billion from what was once a £12.7 billion project, with £500m coming from CSC. He said £4.7 billion remained unspent." So they have spent half the money - has half the project been delivered?


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In your Dreams

CanUseeTheLight 188 weeks ago

Not to be rude but we all need to get a grip!

I dont think the metrics would be very positive if it was actually what had been been delivered (assuming CfH / DOH have the ability to work it out) and what it actually cost the tax payer.


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The application software was not good enough!

MDorahy 188 weeks ago

At least they still have half the money and arguably made some significant achievements. If the buying power of the NHS had not been astutely leveraged when the project was set up then the project would be well into over-run by now as happens very frequently in projects like this. In the end the Cerner and iSoft products did not deliver at the enterprise level. Has any major enterprise (state/county/province) yet cracked the EPR challenge?


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In short

CanUseeTheLight 188 weeks ago

Yes

Take a look at what Canada has acheived nationally with only a $1.3Billion spend. By the by when el CfH supremo Granger vited them his view was that they would fail because they were not spending enough. Canadians being a polite people just smiled adn nodded. Clear Mr Granger was of the 'Lets have a p*****g contest' frame of mind. It is obvious why we are were we are.


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Anyone with an informed opinion?

JacquesOuze 188 weeks ago

It's very easy to do the hand wringing thing about the amount spent vs what was promised vs what has been delivered, but I've yet to see a genuinely informed opinion about whether this represents any kind of value for money or not. In that case I think I'll wait and see what the NAO and the Cabinet Office programme assessment review say before I start sounding off about it.

The 1.5Bn or so to support Information for Health bought pretty much diddly squat in IT terms since it got syphoned off for higher priorities - was that better or worse than spending three times as much but having a working Spine, PDS, N3, PACS, choose and Book etc?


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Five billion well spent?

ChrisBris 188 weeks ago

"At least they have half the money" - yes, but it's half of rather a lot of money. Does anyone think this is five billion well spent so far?


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NAO report

Charles Gallagher 188 weeks ago

Its been pretty low key this time round. They don't seem to have requested the same level of input as the last report so will be very interested to see what they have to say.

The silence and lack of leaks could suggest that it will be pretty damning and provide the government with an excuse to kill it off for good.


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Important Development

Diogenes 188 weeks ago

You may be underestimating the importance of this, given that CSC has been telling the market it is confident of signing a new deal with the DH imminently.

Let's hope the NAO report is a good one,,,.


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Sunny Delight

CanUseeTheLight 187 weeks ago

Came accross this tit-bit on the power of a marketing budget, being in with the press or not

http://www.findingthehiddenmoney.com/archives/1489

very interesting reading if you look at whats been published and stated about NPfIT, whats been deliverd and by whom


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