Feeds

Connecting for Health suppliers told to get busy

Connelly delivers November ultimatum

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Department of Health's director general for informatics has told CfH suppliers to deliver 'significant progress' by November, and is opening the market for southern hospitals.

"We will be working closely with the NHS and our current suppliers to improve the pace of delivery," said Christine Connelly, who has just completed a review of NHS Connecting for Health's work.

"If we don't see significant progress by the end of November 2009, then we will move to a new plan for delivering informatics to healthcare," she added.

Connelly also said she is opening the market for supplying hospital trusts in the south of England with immediate effect, except for those trusts managed by BT, using CfH's additional supply capability and capacity framework. BT already supports eight hospital trusts using Cerner Millennium, and said last week that it will implement this system in four more.

The Department of Health will also establish a toolkit allowing products to be developed by trusts, accredited centrally and then used for other existing deployments of Cerner and Lorenzo, the two systems which most trusts are installing. This is planned for completion in March 2010.

Although many aspects of the National Programme for IT are well advanced, the installation of core systems for hospitals is around four years behind schedule. This weekend, Conservative leader David Cameron described it as a waste of money, and put forward an alternative approach based on personally controlled online health records.

But Connelly said that her review had shown her that the core aims and the procurement model of the programme should be retained – the latter because it pays suppliers on successful delivery of working systems. The programme has cost significantly less than expected to date, as a result of slow delivery.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Connelly said she was not ruling out terminating the contracts of the suppliers, including CSC and BT, but added that she preferred to make the current systems and solutions a success.

"This review has shown me just how committed NHS trusts are to achieving the aims of the National Programme for Information Technology," said Connelly in a statement. "By improving information sharing, we can make a real difference to the quality and safety of services for patients and support more flexible and personalised care, which is what patients have told us they want.

"We now want to open up the healthcare IT market to new suppliers and new technological developments, to inject more pace into this programme," she added. "Working together we can help trusts configure systems to best meet their local needs as well as take advantage of market developments to make more use of the information held in the core systems."

"Since the Fujitsu contract termination there have been clear indications that CfH would open NPfIT to new suppliers," said Victor Almeida, Kable's senior health analyst. "NHS chief executive David Nicholson acknowledged last month that Cerner and Lorenzo are at a very delicate stage and that the programme would probably resort to new suppliers.

"CfH is grudgingly beginning to recognise that mistakes have been made and that it can no longer rely on a small pool of suppliers with limited capacity to deliver such an ambitious initiative. It now accepts that the additional services framework is central to the existence of the NPfIT instead of just a 'safety blanket'," he added.

"NPfIT began a decentralisation process three years ago, moving commissioning and implementation duties from central to regional and local level. The disintegration of the supplier landscape is an inevitable consequence of this."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.