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Challenges with large IT projects continue

The board of an NHS trust has learned of a “significant” risk of Fujitsu ending its £900m contract to supply and implement hospital systems across southern England as part of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

A withdrawal would add to delays in installations of NPfIT systems, deepen scepticism among doctors over whether the programme is feasible, and could indicate that the NPfIT is in deeper trouble than widely thought.

In 2006 Accenture withdrew as a local service provider, making provision for write-offs of about £230m.

Fujitsu and NHS Connecting for Health, which runs part of the NPfIT, and the Department of Health are discussing a contract “reset”, which involves a renegotiation of large parts of the £896m deal signed in 2004. The contract is not due to finish until 2013.

An interesting read illustrating the challenges of managing expectations for all the stakeholders involved in a large project, we’ll have to see how the NHS IT projects develop, in the meantime, do check it out.

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