The National Programme for IT has placed an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) seeking a service provider for an email and directory service for the NHS.  The advert makes clear that the existing NHSmail service is to be withdrawn.

The issuing of the advert follows the decision by NPfIT last month to terminate the £90 million NHSmail contract with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) to provide email and directory services to one million NHS staff.  

EDS had originally been awarded the contract for NHSmail in October 2002, shortly before Richard Granger took up his post as director general of NHS IT.

In a 9 March statement explaining why it had decided to terminate the NHSmail contract with EDS, the NPfIT said: "EDS’ delivery of the contract has been the subject of ongoing concerns including unacceptable delivery delays, issues in the functionality of the services and service capacity."

The new OJEU advert says: "A key requirement of the procurement is to provide business continuity for users of an existing service that is to be withdrawn.  Short-term a key deliverable is therefore to migrate these people to a replacement service."

Interestingly the OJEU advert placed does not set out a new specification for an entirely new NHS email and directory service to replace the service that is being scrapped, but instead outlines the existing service. However, it promises: "This document will be superseded by the more detailed Output Based Specification."  

Previously on EHI:

National programme says NHSmail was ‘unacceptable’

Granger terminates EDS’s NHSmail contract

NHSmail take-up minimal so far