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NHS computer supplier faces dismissal for missing deadline

Computer Sciences Corporation has missed a critical deadline to install IT systems.

The £12.7bn NHS IT programme was in crisis after its biggest single supplier, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), faced dismissal for missing the deadline to install the systems at hospitals in the UK's north-west. The IT firm, which holds the contract for two-thirds of England, failed to successfully install the Lorenzo electronic patient administration system at the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust's hospitals.

CSC, along with BT, which covers London, had been given a deadline to get the new system running at a large hospital. The Department of Health warned it would "look at alternative approaches" if the deadline was not met. BT has already installed a system at Kingston Hospital, complying with health department guidelines. The NHS has an option to cancel the acute hospital part of the deal, thought to be worth around £1bn.

The deal is believed to be critical to earnings targets at CSC, an $11bn group listed on the NYSE. The company has contracts worth about £3.3bn with the UK health department to install the patient bookings and referrals management programme as well as other IT systems.