BT is to pay a six-figure sum in damages to the Department of Health having missed two of its 56 milestone “deliverables” under a £530m seven-year contract to deploy a broadband infrastructure across the NHS.
The contract was signed only in February this year.
Analyst Ovum Holway said BT has also missed interim targets under its contracts to deliver a national data spine and as the London region’s local service provider (LSP), but had not been penalised for these failures in the interests of getting the NHS’s £2.3bn National Programme for IT in the NHS delivered.
Ovum Holway said the damages BT would have to pay won this occasion are expected to be less than £1m, a “drop in the ocean compared with the £2.15bn of contracts that BT has won under the programme".
A spokesman for BT said the company should have delivered the first phase of N3 by 16 April but it was delivered after this date. A sum for compensation has not yet been agreed and is likely to be based on the additional costs for trusts which had expected to receive the first phase of N3 on the due date.
A spokesman for the national programme said: “BT is striving to address the small number of shortcomings from this first phase of work and continues to work constructively with the NHS to deploy broadband connectivity.
“In all cases, the contracts which were put in place are addressing the circumstances which can occur in large-scale IT programmes and the contracts are proving to be effective.”