Dozens of default notices have been issued to BT, the local service provider for London, over the past seven months, a parliamentary written answer has revealed.

Between 26 August 2009 and 8 March 2010, BT was handed 70 default notices for “critical service level failures” and an additional notice for number of calls answered.

CSC, the LSP for the North, Midlands and East of England, was issued 41 default notices over a 12 month period from 6 January 2009 to 24 December 2009.

Acenture, the former LSP for the NME, which still provides digital imaging services in the region, was handed 56 default notices over the same period as BT.

The figures were released in response to questions from shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien.

The CSC notices predominately relate to critical service level failures (9), failure to achieve release key milestone (5), failure to achieve an interim milestone (5), failure to achieve an early adopter deployment key milestone (5) and failure to achieve a go-live milestone (4).

However, the company was also issued notices for failure to submit remediation plans for failures and failure to submit a detailed implementation plan for Q2, Q3, Q4 2009.

In addition to the information revealed, health minister Mike O’Brien said in the written answer: “The Department [of Health] demands a very high level of compliance from its suppliers and contractor event of default notices reflect operational matters identified during the normal course of contract delivery that need to be addressed.

“The majority of the matters identified have been addressed using the existing contractual remedies.

"Publication of contractor event of default notices would or would be likely to cause prejudice to the commercial interests of the providers concerned.

"It would also potentially compromise the Department’s position in any possible future formal contractual disputes, which in turn would or would be likely to cause prejudice to the commercial interests of the Department.”

Neither CSC nor BT was able to comment on the figures but a spokesperson for BT said: “BT has a good track record in providing a high level of service to the NHS. In the event of any service issues, we always work to resolve them as soon as we can."

Link: Written answer