Fujitsu could cut 700 jobs after quitting NHS National Programme for IT

Karl Flinders

Up to 700 IT jobs are at risk following the termination of Fujitsu's contract under the £12.7bn NHS National Programme for IT, trade union Unite claims.

Fujitsu confirmed today that it begun a 90-day consultation process on the future of its employees working on the NHS Connecting for Health National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

Peter Skyte, national officer at Unite, said the government should ensure that the skills of the Fujitsu workers are not wasted.

"Government must act to ensure that the knowledge and skills gained in working for Fujitsu are retained, whoever the provider or providers in the future, and ensure that the skilled staff can help the project continue to a successful conclusion in the interests of patients, the NHS and the health of the nation."

Connecting for Health terminated Fujitsu's £1.1bn, contract last month after re-negotiations collapsed. Fujitsu was the local service provider for trusts in the south of England.

Peter Hutchinson, group director UK public services at Fujitsu, said one of the company's problems with the NPfIT contract was a delay in NHS trusts sanctioning payments.

He was being questioned this week by the Public Accounts Committee in an inquiry into the progress of the NPfIT.

"There were a lot of delays in getting paid for things which was quite frustrating," he said. "There is no question that local trusts withheld agreements for payment in order to force us to make further changes to the system and keep us under pressure. These changes to the contracted requirements to suit the particular requirements of particular trusts."

Fujitsu said, "Fujitsu Services can confirm that it will commence a 90 day consultation period for its employees working on the NHS Connecting for Health National Programme for IT. This process allows the employees to discuss, on a formal basis, the options available to them."

Connecting for health statement and more about Fujitsu and the NHS National Programme for IT >>

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