London: One of the UK's longest running IT consultancy sagas entered a new chapter yesterday when CSC said that it had signed a four year contract with the Department of Health to deliver the Lorenzo patient administration system.
CSC did not give any overall value for the deal, but the UK government presented it as a £1 billion saving for tax payers.
As a result of the deal, CSC loses exclusive rights to be the only provider of clinical IT systems in the North, Midlands and East of England, but will continue to roll-out Lorenzo in these areas.
CSC said in a statement that it had, "entered into an agreement with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) on August 31, 2012 to amend the existing contract under which CSC has developed and is deploying an integrated electronic patient records system using CSC's Lorenzo Regional Care software products.
"The agreement, which has received the approval of all required U.K. government officials and is effective immediately, offers substantial flexibility to NHS trusts in their choice of electronic care records solutions while affording CSC the opportunity to expand and accelerate its marketing of the Lorenzo solution to NHS trusts across England."
The new agreement runs to July 2016 and includes full mutual releases of all claims between the parties through the date of the agreement.
"This agreement is a significant milestone in our relationship with the National Health Service and represents a renewed commitment by the NHS and CSC to a long-term partnership as well as CSC's healthcare solutions," said Mike Lawrie, CSC's president and chief executive officer.
"Under this agreement CSC will continue to have the opportunity to support the NHS Information and Communications Technology infrastructure through deployment of our groundbreaking Lorenzo base product solutions, now rigorously tested and approved for wide-scale deployment across NHS.
"We are already seeing strong demand from NHS trusts that are confident our solutions will bring the safety and efficiency gains required by a modern NHS."
Under the agreement the parties have redefined the scope of the Lorenzo products and have established deployment and ongoing service pricing. CSC will deliver additional Lorenzo implementations based on demand from individual NHS trusts.
A flexible arrangement has been established for these trusts to combine additional clinical modules with the core care management functionality of the Lorenzo solution to meet their specific requirements. CSC and the NHS have also agreed to a streamlined approach for trusts which wish to take the Lorenzo products within the NHS-designated North, Midlands and East regions of England to obtain central funding from the U.K. Department of Health for implementation of the Lorenzo products.
CSC may also offer the Lorenzo solutions throughout the rest of England where trusts select CSC's solutions through a separate competitive process. Under the new agreement the NHS will not be subject to trust volume commitments and CSC has agreed to non-exclusive deployment rights in its designated regions. Trusts will receive ongoing managed services from CSC for a period of five years from the date of Lorenzo deployment by a trust, provided deployment is complete or substantially complete by July 2016.
£1 billion savings
The Department claims that savings from the new CSC deal of "over £1 billion" will be reinvested into the NHS — and it styles the agreement as part of its "commitment to dismantle the National Programme for IT"
The Government says it has been renegotiating its major contracts to not only ensure wasteful spending is eradicated but that major suppliers are offering the best value for money.
Health Minister, Simon Burns said, "By dismantling the National Programme for IT, this new agreement will save taxpayers over £1 billion which will be reinvested in patient care and front line services. We've removed the restrictive, top-down, centralised approach and given the local NHS the power to make their own decisions about which IT systems they use.
"The modern NHS still needs healthcare IT systems to exchange information securely and meet the needs of their patients. By re-shaping this contract, delays will be avoided in delivering much needed IT systems to the NHS, and will ensure the investment made to date is not wasted.
"This agreement marks a step in the right direction and a move to a new way of working which will allow the NHS to secure value for money and tailor its IT systems to meet the needs of its local patients."
" As I emphasised when I met with 20 of our top suppliers just last month, ours is not a Government that will tolerate poor performance — and today's announcement will leave suppliers in no doubt that we will act to strip out waste from contracts where they offer poor value for the taxpayer."
In February CSC wrote off $1.5 billion on the back of the Lorenzo dispute.