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NHS Connecting for Health has agreed that BT will take responsibility for the Cerner Millennium installations at eight acute trusts in the south of England.

The NHS National Programme for IT has lacked a local service provider in the south of England since CfH fired Fujitsu in May 2008.

"NHS Connecting for Health can confirm that an extension to BT's contract has been agreed which will enable them to take over the live Cerner Millennium sites in the South," said a CfH spokesperson. "Further details will be shared next week."

"BT can confirm it has signed a contract to take over the running of IT systems at eight acute trusts in the south of England as part of its NHS national programme work," said the company.

"This takeover was not unexpected," said Victor Almeida, a senior analyst at Kable. "BT is currently implementing a version of Cerner in the London cluster and thus is best positioned to run the sites.

"The big question is what will happen to the remaining trusts in the South, "he added. "Will they opt for BT, will they resort to Lorenzo software provided by the CSC Alliance in the North, where there are several out-of-cluster agreements within the NPfIT, or will they wait for offers from new software suppliers?"

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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