15 August 2003 The government has announced the final shortlist for what will be one of the largest public sector contracts ever awarded — the modernisation of the computer systems of the National Health Service.
The contract, which is expected to be worth some £2.3 billion, is being broken up into a number of elements. National Application Service Providers (Nasps) will be responsible for developing and running systems for electronic patient records, e-prescriptions and e-booking. Local Application Service Providers (Lasps) will be responsible for equipping hospitals and doctors’ surgeries with new or upgraded systems to run these applications.
The three contenders for the highly coveted contract to run the UK’s electronic patient record and e-prescription systems are systems and services giants BT Group, IBM Global Services and Lockheed Martin. EDS, Fujitsu and SchlumbergerSema, meanwhile, are competing to supply the e-booking system.
The short-list of local service providers includes Accenture, BT, Cap Gemini Ernst &Young, Cerner, Computer Sciences Corporation, EDS, Fujitsu, Jarvis, Lockheed, LogicaCMG and SchlumbergerSema.
The first of the local service provider contracts, for London and for the north-east, are scheduled to be awarded at the end of October. Contracts for the rest of England will be signed before the end of the year.
Overall, 19 of the initial 31 companies that bid for the contract have been rejected, including Capita, McKesson and Siemens. However, a number of those are expected to rejoin the process by forming an alliance with the remaining 12 bidders. The scale and scope of the NHS contract, note analysts, is resulting in the formation of some complex consortia.
Commenting on the shortlist, Richard Granger, director general of NHS IT, told Computing: “We have the strongest assembly of prospective suppliers for a public sector contract short list that’s been seen for many years, which is a powerful testament to supplier commitment.”