18 October 2007 | Antony Barton
NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) has awarded preferred supplier status to an IT company that the health service recently considered taking over during a legal dispute.
iSoft and five other suppliers have signed up to the GP Systems of Choice framework (GPSoC), with two more expected to join this month. GPSoC will provide computer systems for GPs and primary care trusts across England, and forms part of the £12.4 billion NHS National Programme for IT.
A recent legal wrangle between iSoft and its contractor, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), meant the NHS was preparing to take control of iSoft to ensure delivery of its Lorenzo computer system. An agreement was eventually reached between the two firms, which saw CSC take control of the delivery of the Lorenzo system (Web news, 9 August 2007).
When asked why CfH would want to sign another contract with iSoft in light of recent events, an iSoft spokesman told Supplymanagement.com: "iSoft is a longstanding supplier to the NHS and 1,000 GP practices across the country use our systems. It is a largely loyal and supportive customer base."
A spokesman for CfH said: "All our suppliers have gone through a rigorous procurement and assessment procedure. We do not as a matter of course comment on individual sites or suppliers."