Government pays BT millions extra for work in fewer NHS trusts

The Department for Health has agreed to pay BT an extra £4 million for implementing IT in fewer trusts on the troubled NHS National Programme for IT.

After one of four NHS trusts decided it no longer wanted BT to implement the Cerner Millennium patient administration system, the Department of Health increased the value of BT’s contract.

In return for the £4 million extra, BT will add some functionality to the system where it is being implemented.

The shocking revelations are exposed in Tony Collins’ blogs on Computerworld UK. They come as the National Audit Office conducts an official investigation into whether BT was paid £400 million over the market price for work on the scheme.

The Department of Health agreed to pay BT £546m to take over NPfIT work from Fujitsu when its contract was terminated in May 2008. The £546m deal required BT to help install the Cerner Millennium system at four acute trusts, and support the sites until October 2015.

Richard Bacon MP today blasted the £546 million as "an extraordinarily large sum for a comparatively small amount of activity by BT".

Collins writes in his blog: “Many in the NHS will be will be surprised that BT managed to secure more NHS money, given that they already regarded the payment of £546m as unjustified and excessive.”

A BT spokesperson said: "While we don’t comment on the commercial details, BT considers that the south contract followed all appropriate governance. We are confident it reflects what we have been asked to deliver based on the requirements set by the NHS."

Now read: BT negotiates extra NHS money for fewer trust go-lives

£546m to BT is extraordinarily large sum for comparatively little activity says MP

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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