CSC plans massive job losses

CSC is about to announce massive job losses among staff working on its NHS account.

The move strongly suggests that the company is unlikely to win an advantageous new deal for the North, Midlands and East of England; or any deal at all.

However, in a statement confirming the news broken by eHealth Insider this afternoon, the company said "the action is mainly because we have now substantially completed many key development activities and are moving away from a focus on development work.

"This action is independent of contract negotiations. These are onlgoing and we are therefore unable to comment on them."

EHI has been told that the company called an emergency meeting for staff this afternoon to announce that it is planning to make up to 500 people working on the NHS account redundant from a total of 1,700.

A CSC employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were told the company was looking to make 460 CSC staff redundant and to lose 40 from iSoft, which CSC acquired last year.

“Obviously people are a bit confused as to the reason why they bought iSoft for (£117m) last year only to be hit by redundancies this year,” he said. “We didn’t see it coming.”

CSC is now entering a 90-day consultation process with employees. In its statement, it said that "through voluntary redundancies and redeploying people within other parts of our business, we hope to achieve a significant reduction without the need for compulsory redundancies.

"Where this is not possible, we will provide support to help ensure that anyone leaving the business does so in the best possible position."

The US company has been struggling to deliver the Lorenzo electronic patient record, originally developed by iSoft, to the NME.

Christine Connelly, the former director general of NHS informatics, set the company a target of getting the system live at four, key early adopter sites by last spring.

But it missed when the fourth early adopter - and first mental health adopter - Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust dropped out and went on to lead its own procurement for a new IT system.

The company was initially convinced it would still get a new memorandum of understanding for its LSP deal. But a series of critical watchdog, Parliamentary and ministerial reports on the progress of NPfIT and Lorenzo in particular cast this into doubt.

CSC told American investors over Christmas that it might not get a new deal on terms advantageous to the company, or any deal at all, and said it would take a £1 billion "impairment" as a result.

EHI was told earlier in the Autumn that CSC might not get a new deal, and that it would scale back its UK activity and staff if it did not.

In its statement, the company concluded: "CSC remains fully committed to healthcare globally and in the UK in particular.

"We are confident that these carefully targeted and managed reductions will not impact the overall quality of service we provide to our existing NHS customers.

"We currently have about 97,000 employees globally – about 1,700 of these are within our UK healthcare business."

This story was first published at 5pm on Thursday, 2 February, and updated after CSC issued a statement to EHI at 8pm.

Last updated: 2 February 2012 21:13

CSC |  iSoft |  Lorenzo |  NME |  NPfIT



Rebecca Todd and Lyn Whitfield

2 February 2012


...and if only

layton220 weeks ago

And if only clinicians had been the drivers of the NPfIT from the outset we might have had products specified that actually could be used and provided functionality that was needed.

And if only IT within the NHS, both in Trust IT departments and the DOH, got back to reality and accepted that IT exists to support clinical activity and is not an end in its own right.

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Ah yes, if only the clinicians had been the drivers.

It is I, LeClerc220 weeks ago

But if we lined all the clinicians up, do you think they would ever reach to a conclusion they could all agree with? Part of the problem is that they don't see IT as one of their tools. So it is easier to complain than lead.

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Actually - yes

layton220 weeks ago

Yes I do think so, based on a great deal of experience from both sides of the IT fence. Clinicians are sceptical of IT simply because they are rarely engaged. Where they are, from the outset, the results might surprise you.

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Sad, but inevitable.

Dave Kelsall220 weeks ago

Despite the NHS bending over backwards and giving over four years worth of contract extensions. CSC as a corporation consistently failed to keep promises about when Lorenzo would be fit for purpose as a regional detailed care record.

There are so many "if onlys":

- if only CSC had managed it's relationship with iSoft better in the early days;

- if only iSoft hadn't greedily outsourced its development to Chennai whilst laying off hundreds of experienced developers (many of the ex NHS) who understood the requirements;

- if only CfH hadn't been so ready to compromise in contract negotiations once Granger quit;

- if only ministers and senior cicil servants hadn't been so easily taken in by promises of improvement;

- if only CSC had bought out iSoft two years earlier than they did;

- if only CSC hadn't dumped iSoft and Lorenzo in 2006 in favour of an off the shelf product when it was increasingly obvious there was a high risk that iSoft wouldn't deliver;

- if only local Trusts had been given local control over local contracts with CSC;

- if only NPfIT hadn't been subject to so much Political interference with deadlines set with one eye on general election dates;

- if only the local CSC teams had been given a fit for purpose product to implement, instead of outdated "interim" solutions and vapourware

There were some very arrogant comments made by both CSC and Accenture senior managers in the early days, which rankle with me to this day but these were the exception.

I found that in general the people I dealt with locally were professional, dedicated and hard-working, I even poached one or two of them into the NHS.

Whether we like it or not, we're all part of the same sector - the Health Informatics specialty within the broader IT Profession (using the BCS's inclusive definition of IT). Over the next few years the distinction between private and public sector will become increasingly blurred.

Under this government it seems likely that more and more Foundation Trusts will become privatised, more and more IT functions will be outsourced to the private sector and public sector terms and conditions will be devalued in a race for the bottom (Pensions are surely just the first phase?).

I sincerely wish everyone facing redundancy whether in the private or the public sector (let's not forget the hundreds of PCT and SHA staff who are in a similar predicament) the very best of luck.

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Typo

Dave Kelsall220 weeks ago

the sixth if only should read

- if only CSC had dumped iSoft and Lorenzo in 2006 in favour of an off the shelf product when it was increasingly obvious there was a high risk that iSoft wouldn't deliver;

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What about BT's role in this saga?

It is I, LeClerc220 weeks ago

Lets not forget BT's role and actions in all this, they may be silent but they have been very influential in the areas of sub contracting work, especially implementations. Are they making any money?

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Crazy Contracts..

NHSCIO221 weeks ago

If this is true, then it looks like CSC are following, Fujitsu an Accenture to the inevitable. It is interesting that CfH (nee NPfIT) are the "spouse" in all of these failed relationships.

Lets face it, CfH on behalf of the NHS let totally undeliverable (and unbelievable) tenders and these companies foolishly signed up to them.

Dickie Granger has a lot to answer for, good job he is not Sir Richard as in todays climate he would be stripped of it. If there is still a deal to be done, then the Trusts should have a direct relationship with CSC.

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Experienced healthcare IT Staff Discarded

george385221 weeks ago

Way back - when iSoft took the decision to dump 300 staff there were some of us who said that this decision would come home to roost.

These staff were EXPERIENCED - many with more that 20 years experience of sucessfully delivering Healthcare IT applications into the NHS.

iSoft took the decision to ship out the development to graduates in India with the view that experience could take second place when delivering such a large programme of work.

When will the DH put this countries own experienced staff first when awarding contracts of this nature instead of wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers money whose prime interests are share values rather than deliverables?

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*on companies

george385221 weeks ago

*on companies

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Lets take a sympathetic but balanced view and hope that CSC/iSoft can yet achieve its potential.

John Aird221 weeks ago

While I can and do feel for CSC staff who might be about to loose their jobs, I can also undertstand the feelings and frustration of NHS staff. But as I read the comments, they do not seem to be directed at individuals but reflect a view held (or question) of the company itself.

So perhaps both the NHS and CSC staff should be asking why, when awarded such a lucrative contract for some two thirds of the English NHS (a captive market), given substantial grace over delivery dates, and the take-over iSoft with its substantial user base, it has all come to such a sad end. Maybe this is just a retrenchment and a repackaged CSC/isoft will emerge. Perhaps EHI could conduct a balanced forensic analysis.

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The Caring NHS?

The Borg221 weeks ago

Having spent many years working opposite and with colleagues from CSC and Isoft ...some good, some bad and some indifferent... I noticed something about them... they are human beings... and as people who work in and with the 'caring NHS' perhaps a little of the milk of human kindness would be more fitting than some of the comments on this article?

Yes there have been failures but pillorying people who face a difficult future saddens me.

Perhaps we need to remember that old adage ' people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'. When the NHS has the right to take the moral high ground I suggest it does... in the meantime I think both CSC ( the organisation) and the NHS ( the organisation) need to reflect on and learn from the mistakes and the successes ( yes there have been some!) of the last few years and work together to move NHS IT forward.

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Not a cause for celebration !

Futureviewer221 weeks ago

Previous commenter's should perhaps think of the people being made redundant in an already decimated industry and rather that gloat over their demise think themselves lucky to be in work. Whilst I would agree that CSC didn't understand, or perhaps care about the NHS at a US corporate level, that wouldn't have gone for most of their UK staff who were dedicated professionals caught up in escalating issues around a product for which they had little or no control.

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Agreed

eohl221 weeks ago

My facebook has been quiet from my CSC friends. If they are going to be laid off, I'd hope the organisation they came from would take them back.

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Job losses nothing to crow over

A-positive221 weeks ago

As might be expected, here comes the sneering public sector to kick the private sector wealth creators when they're down. If NHS IT had been any good NPfIT woul not have been invented. The comments above betray the reality that I have observed of CSC staff and NHS staff working side by side as colleagues to deliver solutions. At least distinguish between the big bad (American) company and the many dedicated (British) staff now at risk of losing their jobs.

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Didn't see it coming?

Wonky221 weeks ago

Occurs to me that the source who "didn't see this coming" was just perhaps a little naive not to do so...

[Edited by EHI]

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Head in sand...

Rockstar ate my Gerbil221 weeks ago

Agreed, anyone working at CSC has known this was coming for at least 3 months. The phrase "no news is good news" doesn't apply to these 'ongoing' contract negotiations.

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