The government has confirmed that Accenture has given up its existing contract with the NHS to supply systems, and will pay £63m compensation to NHS Connecting for Health.
NHS Connecting for Health, which runs the IT modernisation programme in the NHS, said the bulk of Accenture’s work would be transferred to CSC, which supplies services in north-west England.
“Accenture and CSC have announced a change of local service provider for delivery of the NHS National Programme for IT in the North East and Eastern cluster areas,” Connecting for Health announced.
“Accenture will transfer responsibility for delivery of its obligations within the National Programme for IT to CSC in these clusters by 8 January 2007.”
Accenture is to retain responsibility for delivering Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), said Connecting for Health.
CSC will continue to fulfil its contract to provide services to the North West and West Midlands cluster areas.
Connecting for Health said, “The changes are presaged by NHS Connecting for Health and its suppliers’ ongoing desire to ensure that delivery of new systems is as rapid as is practicable within existing costs.”
The value of the contract to CSC, for the nine years remaining on the 10-year Accenture contract will be the same, based on the original £1.97bn contract awarded to Accenture.
Accenture will retain only £110m of the £173m it has already been paid by the NHS.
Richard Lobley, head of the government practice of PIPC, a global project management consultancy, questioned whether it was appropriate to transfer Accenture’s contracts in this way.
“The contract has completely changed from the original specification, “ he said, adding, “losing a project’s major supplier should automatically trigger a comprehensive review.”