Cerner UK announces redundancies

  • 19 May 2009

Cerner has announced a round of redundancies of UK staff, based on the sharply reduced number of implementations it now expects to deliver.

The cuts were announced at a company Town Hall meeting last week and are expected to fall in key areas such as project implementation and customer training.

The redundancies are based on the company now facing a much smaller number of NHS implementations than it had previously planned, due to changes in the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

Last April, Fujitsu departed as local service provider for the South of England under NPfIT. It was replaced last month by BT, the LSP for London, but the new contract only covered a handful of new implementations.

Prior to Fujitsu’s departure, Cerner had been due to be installed at 43 acute trusts in the South. Plans announced last month reduce the number to just four new implementations in the region, in addition to the eight already in place.

Under the NHS IT programme, the company had been due to provide the Cerner Millennium Care Record Software to 70 NHS trusts and health communities. It is now having to scale back to work with just 41. Currently Millennium is live in four sites across London and eight in the South of England.

A spokesperson for Cerner UK told E-Health Insider: “Having gained clarity on the scope of our 2009 deployment activity, a limited redundancy has been announced. The impacted areas are technology, consulting and training.”

The spokesperson added: “Cerner is strongly committed to the UK marketplace and we are confident in our capability to deliver client value.”

In March, Cerner, Cerner UK’s US parent, reported first-quarter profits up nearly 11%. Its share price has been riding high at record levels for the past year.

Known future plans involve one more site in London, Kingston, to be installed by the end of 2009. After Kingston plans focus on St George’s and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Future planned implementations now based on delivering on a per trust basis, rather than shared ‘instances’ of the Millennium CRS system.

In total BT has installed four Cerner systems in London, taken over responsibility for two more, and has 29 left to go by 2015. In 2008, it installed the system at just two trusts: Barts and the London and the Royal Free, both of which ran into significant problems.

Last month, BT signed a contract to install four Cerner acute sites in the South over an unspecified period. EHI understands these sites are: Royal Bath, North Bristol, Oxford Radcliffe, plus one other.

Outside the NHS IT programme, Millennium is also being installed at Newcastle and Wirral Foundation Trusts, both of which have contracted directly with the company.

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