BT appoints NHS veteran as London CEO

  • 19 September 2006

Paul White, chief executive of Barts and the London NHS Trust is to join BT as chief executive of its severly delayed London NHS IT programme. He will take up the post in the New Year.

White who has been CEO of Barts and the London for five years serves on a number of national and London bodies, including the London Programme Board for Health IT, and works internationally for the NHS advising governments on health developments.

Clive Fenton, who is currently leading the programme, will now report to White as his chief operating officer.

Asked whether White had the right experience to run the London NHS IT upgrade project a BT spokesperson told EHI: "Our work in London is not simply a technology challenge. It is about a transformation in the way services are delivered to patients and the people who care for them.

"In BT we already have world-class experts in delivering programmes of scale within our existing team and these experts are not going away. With Paul White leading the programme however we have the perfect combination of IT skills coupled with a deep knowledge of the NHS."

Patrick O’Connell, managing director, BT Health said: “The NHS National Programme for IT is about transforming the way services are delivered and greatly improving healthcare. Paul’s experience of health issues, the NHS and how it works will be a tremendous asset on a project such as this.”

Barts and The London NHS Trust has an annual budget of over £500 million, 8,000 staff and the UK’s largest hospital redevelopment programme costing circa £1 billion.

White held a number of NHS CEO and senior managerial posts including in Scotland where he was a member of the Ministerial Group advising on the Scottish Health Plan ‘Our National Health’.

White said: “I look forward to my new role with BT particularly as it will allow me to continue my links with the NHS in London and to apply my Health experience and knowledge to benefit both BT and the NHS.”

BT is the prime contractor for the £12.4bn NHS digitisation programme in London, after being awarded a ten-year £996m contract by the Department of Health in December 2003.

In the almost three years that have since passed BT has implemented the main strategic software at just one acute trust – Queen Mary’s Sidcup – and remains locked in protracted negotiations to replace GE (previously IDX) as its main clinical software provider with Cerner.

In July it was revealed that BT had earned just £1.3m from its London LSP contract. In June BT said that it would install patient administration software at three acute London trusts by year end.

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