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NHS must not ignore small suppliers' needs

The Government risks driving out a skills base vital to the success of its NHS IT strategy if it fails to consider the needs of...

The Government risks driving out a skills base vital to the success of its NHS IT strategy if it fails to consider the needs of smaller NHS IT suppliers, industry analysts have warned.

Murray Bywater, managing director of health care IT specialist Silicon Bridge Research, said, "[The NHS IT procurement strategy] has to be done in a careful way to ensure that the existing market structure is not destroyed. If you lose some of the smaller companies, there is a risk that it could impact on the support of existing systems. It could also cause us to lose some critical skills."

Last week Richard Granger, the new NHS IT tsar, warned suppliers that they must prove their ability to take part in the Government's ambitious overhaul of health service IT.

A new NHS IT procurement strategy is expected to be unveiled in January.

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