CSC axes doctor support software in the UK
580 GP practices will lose their iSoft products
CSC has finally confirmed it is pulling its GP support products from the primary care market.
The company is dropping its iSoft products, including Synergy, Premiere and Ganymede, after they run through their existing contracts. CSC will support the gear until the end of October next year for practices in England and Northern Ireland and until March 2014 for practices in Wales.
Industry talk was rife last week that the iSoft products were headed for the scrapheap, but the company claimed that "regardless of speculation", it was "fully committed to the primary care market".
However, it was forced to change part of its tune on Friday, admitting that the gear was on its way out.
"CSC remains fully committed to the primary care marketplace," the company repeated in an emailed statement.
"Following an in-depth review of our strategy for this area of our healthcare business we have concluded that we will not support a small number of former iSOFT products we provide, we believe this decision is in the best long term interests of our customers.
"We will of course be continuing to support these GP practices through the transition for at least another 12 months," CSC added.
Pundits were tipped off about the impending end-of-life for iSoft when CSC didn't bid for a GP contract in Wales or a similar deal in Scotland. Both countries instead gave the contracts to InPS and EMIS.
According to analyst firm TechMarketView, iSoft has been losing market share to rivals with newer GP products.
TMV said that 580 doctors' practices in the UK use the software: nearly 6 per cent of England's market and 13 to 15 per cent of the Northern Ireland and Wales market.
"These practices will be shocked to have to find a replacement application at relatively short notice, and seemingly without any additional funding for migration," TMV said.
"For other suppliers in the GP sector, CSC’s decision is of course an unexpected bonus – the likes of EMIS, InPS and TPP will be eager to step into the breach." ®
"Live by the sword, die by the sword."
This is what happens when critical infrastructure is passed to the private sector. Their only concern is to make a profit. "Need support with your applications? Tough, that's been discontinued due to financial constraints." In other words, you and your patients are not a factor in our business.
And this government thinks that the private sector is the answer to everything. More like doing their friends a favour by handing out nice, juicy contracts with toothless penalty clauses. See G4S and the Olympics for an example of this
The pity is, it's us, the taxpayer who will have to pay to sort out the mess this ideology is going to cause.
Re: Private enterprise.
That is once again, the private sector, not the public sector, causing trouble.
If the government had its own IT software division in the NHS which developed their own tools, then they would be able to create and maintain a system that they actually want.
The government needs to encourage open standards and software. From my humble knowledge HMRC have done this with Tax returns with iXBRL. This is an open XML schema which can be opened with any software.
They would have been better off putting all the NHS IT money towards designing a schema for the NHS and it's related bodies thus allowing software companies to develop their own software around that schema. You're data is therefore portable and you are not at the mercy of the software company.
Essentially we could be doing this for the entire Civil Service, replacing all the proprietary systems with more open and portable systems. For the untold £billions we've spent on IT projects, the UK could have set up an Open Source initiative for the country to build it's own and pay all contributors. Unfortunately nobody is likely to get a backhander with this process so it's a non-starter.