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Department for Health axes Novell NHS contract

Paul Kunert

The Department for Health has confirmed the £6m Enterprise Wide Agreement with Novell, due to expire next month, will not be renewed. Local trusts will be responsible for ensuring compliance.

Coming only months after Microsoft's £80m EWA was brought to an end by the Department for Health (DfH), the deal with Novell, which included ID management, discovery tools and maintenance looked unlikely to get the go-ahead, but some have still branded the government's decision as short-sighted.

A spokeswoman at DfH said: "The current national EWA with Novell will expire on 30 October 2010. Future investment decisions will be taken at a local level."

"Novell, NHS Connecting for Health and NHS Trusts are engaged in constructive discussions to ensure ongoing operation of the Novell installed base following transfer of contracts to local ownership," she added.

This will fuel the debate about whether Trusts are better off negotiating individual contracts for the software they use, or with a centrally negotiated framework.

James Doggart, managing director at Salford Software, which provides professional services around Novell in the NHS, said cross-sector frameworks were only cost-effective when they were adopted by the sector en masse.


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