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NHS computer disaster to cost another £2 billion

A US company contracted to provide IT technology for the National Health Service is set to receive a £2 billion extension despite the failed project being abandoned.NHS computer disaster to cost another £2 billionComputer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has reportedly informed Wall Street that it expects its contract to provide electronic patient records across the NHS to be extended.

Taxpayers are now facing an estimated £2 billion bill, despite the company already failing to deliver a fully functional version of its software, The Times reported.

The £11.4 billion National Programme for IT, set up in 2002 by bliar, was at the time spun as the world’s biggest civilian computerisation project.

It aimed to give doctors instant access to patient records wherever they were being treated and CSC had signed a deal to computerise records in most of England.

Digitising the medical records of the country’s 62 million people was the core objective of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, accounting for £7 billion of the total estimated cost.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, announced in September that he was abandoning the scheme to create a national patient database because it had “let down” the health service.

He made the decision to “urgently dismantle” the failed project after criticism it was not value for taxpayers’ money.

Yet the company stated in official US papers that it was in talks with the British Government for its contract to be extended until 2017, at a cost of up to £2 billion.

Computer applications installed as part of the scheme have also failed or been scrapped.

However, £250,000 in bonuses has been paid by the DoH to 80 people involved in the scheme as a reward for “an exceptional contribution to delivery”.

CSC, one of the world’s biggest IT providers, had been contracted to provide patient record software, known as the Lorenzo system, to 166 NHS hospitals. But it has delivered on 10 projects. None of those systems is fully functional.

CSC has signed deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds with Royal Mail, Identity and Passport Service and UK Atomic Energy Authority.

The Coalition’s Major Projects Authority, established to review Labour’s financial commitments, found the scheme was not fit to provide services to the NHS.

A cross-party committee of MPs concluded the programme had proved “beyond the capacity of the DoH to deliver”.

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said it was “shameful” to pour more money into a failed initiative.

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