BT has NHS ‘over a barrel’ - Ovum

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The extra £546 million in BT’s contract, only paid on delivery, is attributed by ministers to BT implementing a patient system in only four more large trusts, dubbed a “hefty price tag” by Sergeant. BT will also run the system in eight live trusts, and 25 small community and mental health sites.

The NHS and BT refused to comment on any matters relating to the negotiations and the final price, except to confirm the value now agreed and that it includes the southern sites.

Richard Holway, chairman at TechMarketView, said BT needed the rise in contract value in order to combat the money it was losing on the programme. “This was all required so that BT could finalise its accounts for the year and put in realistic contingency for its NHS contract exposure”, he said.

BT has used the extra sites in the south of England, he explained, “as a powerful bargaining tool to get better terms for its contract”.

But Holway said no-one had got a good deal from the NHS IT contracts. “It seems that in the NHS IT programme, all parties are losers.”

Meanwhile, a senior figure at doctor’s body the British Medical Association, today called for the programme to be scrapped, according to E-health Insider.

Dr Jonathan Fielden, chair of the BMA’s Consultants Committee, said government ministers and the “management consultants” they hired had damaged the NHS. “When MPs regain probity, regain trust, then perhaps they can join our crusade to further improve healthcare; until then don’t stand in our way,” he said.

Now read:

NHS patients may be ‘refused treatment’ for opting-out of electronic care record

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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