CSC story – beginning of the end or start of next legal wrangle?

EHI today reports that CSC has signed a nonbinding Letter of Intent with the DH for a revised NPfIT deal.  Details still sketchy but the main headlines are that it will save £1 billion from the overall cost of the deal which previously had a £3.1 billion price tag. 

A big driver of deal is drawing a line under the liabilities faced by the DH, which are said to be in the range of £1.5 – £1.9 billion.  As part of the new deal the DH will pay for work already done by CSC and get twice the level of savings it had previously pledged – £700m savings were promised last year with BT chipping in £200m.

What is entirely unclear is what the NHS gets going forward.  The CSC market announcement says there will be further deliveries of Lorenzo with some sort of provision for more if the demand exists.  Leaves a whole lot of questions about what happens to trusts who don’t want Lorenzo, or want it but don’t get it.  

The CSC announcement seems to have some creative counting as well, quite how they get to ten Lorenzo’s has been puzzling EHI editorial team for past 10 minutes.  But let’s be generous.  For the sake of argument if its taken eight years to do ten how long will it take to do the next ten?  How long to do twenty?

If the deal is signed by the end of March, as planned, then the other point worth noting is that NPfIT will be with us until at least 2016.  And given that this set of contract renegotiations have taken over two years and counting, can we assume the next set will start April 1?  It’s the lawyers I feel sorry for.

Anyway not complaining, CSC is a story that keeps on giving on the news front and today is after all my Birthday.


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