More than half of the estimated £1.2 billion cost of the London Programme for IT is being paid out after March 2011, six months after the national programme was officially axed.

According to documents released to EHI by the National Audit Office, LPfIT had cost nearly £600m by March 2011, £760m a year later, and will cost more than £1.2 billion by the end of life of the programme, in 2005-05 prices.

Actual benefits realised at these milestones are just £18m by March 2011 and £20m by March 2012. However, the London programme is estimated to reap £780m over its life, which ends in 2021.

BT signed a contract in 2003 to deliver systems for the whole of the NHS in London, including all of its acute trusts.

However, a renegotiated deal in early 2010 agreed that of the 32 trusts still to receive the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record system, approximately half would not deploy it.

The final benefits statement for NPfIT, produced by the Department of Health and vetted by the NAO for the Commons’ public accounts committee, says that initial deployment was completed for almost all acute trusts included within the contract by March 2012.

Following a number of mergers, seven trusts are live or going live with Millennium under LPfIT. These are; Barts Health; Croydon Healthcare; Imperial College Healthcare; Kingston Hospital; Royal Free Hampstead; South London Healthcare; and St George’s Healthcare NHS trusts.

Croydon is due to go live with Millennium at the end of this month and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, part of South London Healthcare, is due to go-live around March next year.

Imperial College deployed Cerner’s order communications module under LPfIT in September 2011, but EHI revealed in July that phase two of the roll-out has been delayed until next year.

The trusts that have taken Millennium, or look likely to take it, have together procured a framework contract to replace their systems beyond of the end of their national contracts in October 2015, with Cerner, InterSystems and Epic on the EPR Lot.

The DH report also says that by March 2012, initial deployment had been completed for all contracted community and mental health trusts with 53,000 registered users.

Thirty community and mental health trusts in London and the South have set up a framework agreement to procure new systems, following the end of their national contracts in 2015.

An SPfIT document released by the NAO says 19 trusts in the South are using RiO, suggesting there are 11 London trusts. As well as completing its Millennium deployments, BT is due to deploy a new version of RiO to all users.

BT was also contracted to deliver new GP systems, supplied by INPS, to all 1,500 practices in London, but delivered barely 100.

The renegotiated contract with BT apparently slashed £112m off its £1.1 billion contract, however the updated final cost analysis released to EHI puts the contract cost at £975m.

Of the £780m in expected benefits, £202m are expected from the delivery of acute systems, £430m from community and mental health and £130m in “cost avoidance”.

The DH report, released in June, says: “Over time, contracts and funding for each local programme may be owned outside of the department (as is now being planned for in London) and be closer aligned to local delivery”.

It lists Dame Ruth Carnall as the senior responsible owner for LPfIT. However, she no longer works for the organisation and responsibility for delivery of the programme passed to the Health and Social Care Information Centre in April, months before the report was published.