The NHS and Fujitsu, the main supplier of centrally chosen systems to hospitals in the south of England, are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding as part of renegotiations of a £896m contract signed in January 2004.
The two sides were expected to have concluded talks at the end of March, with the result that Fujitsu would either quit its 10-year contract on the NHS's National Programme for IT, or sign a renegotiated "contract reset".
Computer Weekly has learned that the contract reset has not yet been signed and the two sides are to enter into a new Memorandum of Understanding for 90 days.
A previous memorandum of understanding was signed in July 2007 and expired on 31 January this year, with the result that the two sides reverted to the obsolete original contract.
The new MoU may allow trusts to resume NPfIT plans which were put on hold because of uncertainties during the contract reset.
The MoU will expire at around the time the Department of Health announces the results of investigations by two reviews into the NHS. In 2007 the Health Secretary asked Lord Darzi to conduct a "once in a generation review" of the NHS, which is due to be published in June 2008.
Lord Darzi has said that "more work is now needed to ensure that the Connecting for Health programme delivers real clinical benefits and I will be considering in the second stage of my review how best to achieve this."
There is a second review of the NPfIT by Mathew Swindells, acting chief information officer for the Department of Health. He is working on an NHS "Informatics Review" with NHS chief executive David Nicholson, and Hugh Taylor, permanent secretary at the Department of Health.