I met an IT supplier the other day who has worked with the NHS on computing projects for getting on for 30 years.
I met sales director Steve Nicholls recently.
The two main things I got out of the meeting I feel are both worth blogging about.
Firstly CSA Waverley worked with the NHS when it got the GP Payment and Administration System. The Exeter System as it is now known was in effect the first ever national computer system. It holds demograpohoic information about every patient and links it to screening information. It also pays all GPs.The software was written by a group of developers and CSA Waverly put in the infrastructure which was build on DEC systems.
There are 96 system in different locations and guess what? It still works.
This brings me on to the second point. This is a company with only 26 staff and a turnover of £9m last year. So a small supplier has successfully implemented and supported a national computer system for the NHS for 28 years. It also works with hundreds of local authorities and serves private sector customers.
It is now a preferred supplier on the government’s Buying Solutions so it is approved to sell to thousands of public sector organisations.
The government has ha set its stall to place about 25% of government external expenditure with SME suppliers.
The Policy Challenge Report published by City University London’s Centre for Information Leadership offers seven practical proposals that government could adopt to achieve the policy objective of increasing SME take-up while being compliant with EU legislative requirements. Read a preview and download it free here.