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CSC refuses to play ball over NHS Lorenzo deal

Troubled IT supplier CSC is continuing to drag its feet over a proposed deal by the Department of Health to free trusts from contractual obligations to use its Lorenzo software .

Troubled IT supplier CSC is continuing to drag its feet over a proposed deal by the Department of Health to free trusts from contractual obligations to use its electronic patient records software Lorenzo .

The deal was supposed to be signed by June 1 but has now been extended to August 31. However, this is the second time the deadline has now been extended, with the original agreement scheduled for the end of March.

In a note to the Securities and Exchange Commission CSC said it would only enter into an agreement if the terms were deemed favourable to the company. The company already stands to lose a significant sum under the agreement, telling shareholders in February that it had written off nearly £1bn ($1.5bn) from its £2.9bn NHS IT contract.

“There can be no assurance that CSC and NHS will enter into the interim agreement or any amendment to the existing agreement,” it said. It added there was no assurance that the standstill would be further extended.

The delay is likely to hold up the NHS’ plan to devolve IT procurements to local trusts, a key tenet of its recently released Information Strategy. The department aims to move away from the “provide all” systems approach under National Programme for IT to a “connect all” emphasis where local commissioning groups are responsible for their own IT.

If the department fails to strike a deal with CSC, this could have serious consequences for implementation of its informatics strategy.

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