The local service providers of the National Programme for IT in the NHS have been paid £1.1 billion, less than a quarter of the projected amounts for their projects.

Figures from health minister Mike O’Brien reveal by 31 March 2009, BT, the LSP for London, had only been paid £326m of the £1 billion of its ten-year deal for modernising IT systems in the capital.

CSC, the LSP for the North, Midlands and East had only been paid £684m of its £3 billion contract.  Fujitsu, the ex-LSP for the South, was paid £133m out of £1.1 billion.

The ten-year LSP deals were originally awarded in 2003 and due to run to 2013, they have since been extended to as late as 2016.

Since the end of March there have been several roll-outs by CSC, with the Lorenzo product from software provider iSoft. These include roll-outs at Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust, Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust and NHS Bury.

For the first time, O’Brien revealed that what CSC had been paid for the first stage of each deployment. In four cases the figure was £4.758m, and in one more case over £8m.

“The agreed deployment charge for full deployment of all bundles of service, when complete, at the South Birmingham PCT, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust, and Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust is £4.758 million in each case,” O’Brien said in a written parliamentary answer.

The minister said the agreed deployment costs for all Lorenzo services at the trusts that Lorenzo has been rolled out to (excluding NHS Bury) is £27m.

O’Brien said: “Expenditure incurred in implementing computerised record systems at National Health Service trusts has two components.

A one-off ‘deployment charge’ is paid when the trust has accepted the system, and there will be local costs associated with preparation, deployment and support.

However, the minister added that the charge for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is almost double, at just over £8m.

He added that the average agreed deployment charge per site for full deployment of all bundles of services of Lorenzo, when complete, is £6.4m.

Payments for the national infrastructure parts of NPfIT – the Spine, Choose and Book and N3 – are closer to original expectations.

Choose and Book has so far cost £133m out of a predicted £144m; the Spine cost £791m out of £889m; while the N3 network, delivered by BT, cost exactly the predicted £554m.

This spring director general of informatics Christine Connelly said she wanted to see Lorenzo “working smoothly” across an acute trust by March, having gone live in another setting by the end of November.

Earlier this month, NHS Connecting for Health published the criteria that would have to be met in order for the providers to claim that the implementation of the EPR had been successful.

In response to a question from shadow health spokesman Stephen O’Brien about whether a breach of the criteria constitutes a ground for the termination of LSP contracts, the minister said that the government has the ability to terminate the contracts but would only consider doing so as a last resort.

He said the provisions for terminating contracts were written into each deal. “However, termination is a step that the Department will only contemplate after every opportunity, and all possible assistance had been given to enable a contractor to recover its position.”


Hansard written answers