30 May 2008 | Jake Kanter
The NHS has terminated a key 10-year, £869 million contract with Fujitsu to provide electronic care records for patients in the south and west of England.
The agreement, signed in January 2004, was part of the organisation's £12.7 billion National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The cancellation followed 10 months of negotiation, in which the NHS requested a more flexible level of service from the IT supplier.
A spokesperson for NHS Connecting for Health - the body responsible for the programme - said in a statement: "Regrettably and despite best efforts by all parties, it has not been possible to reach an agreement on the core Fujitsu contract that is acceptable to all parties. The NHS will therefore end the contract early by issuing a termination notice."
A spokeswoman for Fujitsu confirmed talks had broken down with the NHS. She told supplymanagement.com: "We did not feel there was a prospect of an acceptable conclusion. Our contract with the NHS will therefore end early."
Earlier in the month, the National Audit Office found spending on key contracts for the NHS NPfIT is currently 44 per cent less than projected, but only because of the delay in implementing systems (Web news, 23 May).