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NHS: Information and Communications Technology

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on which occasions (a) each local service provider and (b) BT have breached the terms of their contract with Connecting for Health. (233773)

All the national programme for information technology local service provider (LSP), and national application service provider (NASP), contracts include provisions appropriate to contracts of their size and complexity to address foreseeable development, delivery and service issues, including terms that permit the issue of a breach of contract notification under defined conditions.

In the case of the Fujitsu LSP contract, 41 breach of contract notices were issued, which ultimately resulted in the termination of the contract on 28 May 2008.

None of the remaining LSP and NASP providers, including BT, have been issued with formal breach of contract notices. However, as part of the normal contractual processes, a number of so-called ‘contractor event of default’ notices have been issued, reflecting operational matters identified during the normal course of contract delivery that need to be addressed. All the matters identified have been addressed using the existing contractual remedies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospital trusts are using the NHS IT system Cerner; which version of the system each trust is using; when each trust installed the system initially; what the effect of adverse variance to budget has been for each trust in each quarter since installation; and what costs have been incurred by each trust as part of the implementation to date, with particular reference to the costs of (a) activity shortfalls attributable to the system not supporting the trust in managing the patient pathway leading to clinic and admission slots not being used, (b) data entry difficulties attributable to the system supplied being different from the training system or to the lack of operating or procedure manuals, (c) additional staff required for rectification or to maintain normal activity levels and (d) issues causing reductions in clinical efficiency. (234405)

Information requested on deployments, through the national programme for information technology, of the Cerner Millennium system in acute national health service trusts is in the following table.

Acute trust

Software version

Technical go-live (TGL)1

Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS trust


9 February 2007

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS trust


19 April 2007

Weston Area Health NHS trust


29 July 2006

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation trust


14 December 2007

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS trust


20 December 2005

Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS trust


23 February 2007

Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS trust


25 September 2006

Worthing and Southlands Hospitals NHS trust


28 September 2007

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust


21 July 2007

Queen Mary’s Sidcup NHS Trust


28 October 2007

Barts and The London NHS trust


6 April 2008

Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust


15 June 2008

1 TGL refers to when the system was first technically enabled and available for use, prior to ‘business go-live’ (BGL), when systems begin to be used for live transactions. There may be a delay between TGL and BGL, for example to allow time for users to be trained or to allow other dependent deployments to proceed.


Comprehensive information of the kind requested about the financial and resource impact, if any, resulting from implementation of the Cerner system is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.