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Suppliers line up for NHS contracts

James Rogers
The Department of Health is examining the responses from potential suppliers interested in providing the technology backbone for the Government's ambitious plan to overhaul health service IT.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said, "We are working through the responses but we are not at the stage to say what is in them yet."

Suppliers had until last Friday to complete a questionnaire issued by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency registering their interest in the national programme, which promises to be the UK's largest ever IT project.

The questionnaire was part of a prior indication notice posted in the Official Journal of the European Communities late last year.

The responses will also be fed into a database that is being compiled by management consultancy McKinsey Consulting to detail the suppliers' capacity to support the national programme.

Unveiled last year, the national programme aims to modernise IT across the NHS, making it one of the most ambitious IT initiatives in Europe. The programme will lead to the NHS-wide roll out of key applications such as electronic health records.

The Government is expected to announce further details of the NHS' long-term IT procurement strategy in the next few weeks.

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