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CSC, NHS extend jaw-jaw on disaster deal: 500 jobs go

Fail to reach deal over twitching corpse of Lorenzo

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The NHS and IT contractor CSC can't agree on the terms of their amputated contract so have pushed a decision on the deal back two months, leaving a temporary arrangement in place.

CSC's deal to digitise patient records – Project Lorenzo – was finally scuppered in December last year and CSC has paid back £1.8bn to the NHS after it failed to deliver the package. However, sorting out what's left and how much it's going to cost is taking a long time to hash out.

The two sides planned to have had the renegotiated deal tied up by 31 March, but a statement released by CSC on Wednesday informed investors that the decision will now take until 1 June to hash out.

The delay wasn't down to stalemate, CSC Global Healthcare President Guy Hains said in a conference call on 4 April, but negotiations were complex:

I can report the dialogue with the NHS is fundamentally going well. Both parties continue to see considerable merit in the revised structure we agreed in the [letter of intent]. I would say the delay reflects the complexity of change being undertaken and the need for very detailed agreements

One result of the reduced contract is job losses: 30 per cent of CSC's workers on the NHS project have been made redundant. The cuts amount to 500 IT workers in the UK.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, USA, CSC has 98,000 employees worldwide and reported revenues of $16bn for the 12 months ended 30 December, 2011. ®

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