02 February 2006 | Helen Gilbert
The NHS hopes to save up to £75 million over three years following a £21.8 million agreement with infrastructure and software services supplier Novell.
NHS Connecting for Health manages the £6 billion NHS National Programme for IT.
Novell provides the operating system, a platform on which other IT tools and systems sit. It makes the downloading of open-source software easier, ensuring it can be integrated with other programmes.
The deal will help the health service meet its target of saving £3.8 billion over 10 years by centrally purchasing core systems.
David Nicholls, Novell's NHS account director, said the system was previously rented and now it had been bought, which is a better deal.
Richard Granger, director general of NHS IT, said: "We have drastically improved pricing arrangements."