The contract for the technology within the new National Health Service “Future Operating Model” (FOM), the central procurement and supply chain structure that will lead on 11 common spend categories across the UK NHS, has been awarded.
And the lucky winner is … DXC Technology. DXC was created by the merger in April 2017 between CSC, which has a track record in the NHS, not all of it good (going back to the NPfIT fiasco) and the Enterprise Services division of Hewlett Packard. DXC provides the “Lorenzo” patent care system to many hospitals, but it has a mixed reputation, it is fair to say.
This contract aims to underpin the FOM and provide technology transformation to support the brave new world of NHS procurement. The Department of Health and Social Care said: “The supporting technology and IT Infrastructure service is an enabling function that will form part of the infrastructure to support the NHS to generate savings of £2.4bn over seven years through the new Supply Chain operation.”
It is thought that the contract is worth some £250 million over the six years. The Department also said that services “will include; the management, support and maintenance of the internal IT systems infrastructure, hardware and software applications across the business as well undertaking a significant programme of IT modernisation and transformation to support the evolution and growth of the service.”
While this is not a huge contract by the standards of government procurement across the board, it has strategic importance as it is essential for the wider FOM to work well. The 11 category towers across a wide range of products will rely on technology to make sure the goods actually get to where they are needed on time and that all the administration around the process works well.
So this is a critical contract and given the track record of government and NHS major IT projects, there will be some nervousness as implementation proceeds, although DXC do provide some of the current technology, so there is perhaps some security there. But watch this space!