back to article NHS IT misses another deadline

The National Programme for IT, the £12.7bn scheme to wire up the country's health system, has missed another major deadline - getting iSoft's Lorenzo patient management software running in Morecambe Bay. The contract is being run by CSC and the NHS stressed it would not be paying the consultants or signing fresh contracts …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope this was an April fool

    Because it's just too depressing otherwise.

    So if BT take over that means they will be picking up a big health contract originally signed by - former health secretary Patricia Hewitt - who now sits on the board of BT. I guess Patsy will be entitled to a nice big bonus this year.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Told you so...

    ...last week.

    Backing CSC must be like backing a dead horse. Having seen how they work first hand, I must say that nothing surprises me. Lorenzo is Snake Oil.

  3. druck Silver badge

    No April Fool

    If only this was one of today's multitude of April Fools articles, and billions wasn't being wasted on IT instead of fixing ill people.

  4. The Original Ash

    NHS IT project deadlines

    The longest running April Fool joke ever.

  5. James Micallef Silver badge


    It will be news when they manage to make a deadline

  6. BeefStirFry

    You know your in trouble...

    ...If Accenture walk away from you, then you might as well just give up and curl up in a corner rocking to and fro.... The blood sucking parasites would only up and leave if there was no more blood to suck, which at the NHS is ironic...

  7. Tom Chiverton 1

    ! unspecified

    The Cons have promised to kill the NIR and ID card's IT projects, for instance.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    And you expected....

    Epic Fail by the Chicken Shit Company yet again!

    I can't believe these Cowboys (or should I say Indians) are still in business. Oh well, no mince pie for Christmas this year!

  9. adam payne

    They actually thought it was going to work

    Well it finally looks like that's the end of NHS IT.

    Late and over budget sounds like any other government project.

  10. Cucumber C Face

    Damn this confounded project

    Lorenzo is a marketing concept not software. Just some of it's archictects may be getting their just desserts from the FSA and others...

    Many others have lined their pockets and richly enhanced their careers yet walk free.

    The sucker here is the UK taxpayer. That Lorenzo is vapourware of the most pernicious kind has been obvious even to the most blinkered optimist since 2005. It has simply been (and remains) too much of a climb down for Nu-Labour to pull the plug.

    NHS Connecting for Health / NPfIT have p^$$ed more money up the wall in the past six years than the entire NHS now has to save in the next ten.

    Meanwhiles it's trebles and plum management consultancy jobs all around for the MPs and DoH mandarins behind this farce.

    This foul, foul project concocted on Tony Biar's sofa, comes in second only to Iraq IMO.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Hospital Managment systems are medical ERP

    And *every* point made about ERP implementation in El Reg's current "How not to screw up an ERP implementation" applies

    Multiplied by the number of PCT.

    Multiplied by the number of hospitals those PCT's support.

  12. RW

    Do large gubbermint IT projects ever succeed, anywhere?

    Or is it that has a particularly poor track record in such matters?

    From a strictly sociological point of view, it's a matter of interest how has developed its uncanny knack for IT fuckups. Is this a holdover from the days of a classical education qualifying civil servants to decide matters they don't comprehend?

  13. Slugster
    Paris Hilton

    Did anyone expect anything else?

    The usual suspects are in there: CSC, Accenture, iSoft. All cowboys, so what did anyone really expect - especially with such a massive project. This one is just too big, too complex even for the likes of Accenture. BeefStirFry hits the nail on the head - if Accenture walk away then you absolutely know that things are REALLY screwed.

    Like ID cards, this has got to be dropped. Spend the money on more worthwhile projects such as supporting the communities devastated by redundancies e.g. Corus.

    Labour ministers unfortunately have a lot of personal financial gain from these type of projects and so they will not end whilst they are in power.

    Paris: because at least she doesnt pretend to be an IT expert (like the aforementioned!)

  14. John A Blackley

    Nobody does IT like........

    Nobody can turn an IT project into a puddle of vomit better or quicker than the British government or one of its quasi-governmental arms.

    I know for a fact that there are some very good, high-function electronic medical records applications in the world. There are also some very good kit suppliers out there. Britain has a functioning network (after a fashion). So, in theory, what remains is to bring healthcare facilities on to the applications one-by-one and then a huge data entry project to convert the old paper records to EMR.

    And yet, and yet, the genius that is British government IT still manages to get it disastrously wrong.

    1. Simon Taylor 2


      When I read your post and thought about it, all that basically should have needed to be done is a massive data entry operation on to a database held on some servers with a few PB's of storage, not too dissimilar to various police databases that already exist.

      Why that needs to cost millions of £, I don't know?

  15. Mary Hawking

    Why does Lorenzo work in the Hederlands?

    It seems that Lorenzo - supposedly developed for the NHS and UK - has been successfully installed in Germany and the Nederlands - and yet cannot be made to work even in a limited fashion in any Acute Trust in the NHS in England.

    There seem to be a number of possibilities:_

    1. The software installed outside the NHS, despite having the same name, is different from the version failing to be installed/work by CSC in the NHS

    2. The software is the same but not suited to the NHS business model

    3. Implementation is successful when performed by iSoft directly.

    4. other explanations not listed here.

    If 2. is true, what is the reason?

    The contract for supplying a system is held by CSC - iSoft is contracted by CSC - and I had heard that iSoft is looking for NHS business in the 2/5ths of England where CSC does not hold the LSP exclusive contract - which also, apparently, has a clause that if their preferred system has been successfully implemented anywhere, the NHS has to pay for it as though it was implemented everywhere...

    I hope that this time deadlines will *not* be extended, and contracts signed to prevent change: remember the rushed privatisation of the railways?

  16. Displacement Activity

    iSoft tech support

    I'm not getting any useful replies from technical support on iSoft Premiere. I might as well be emailing Bangalore. The only other local surgery that used iSoft bailed out 2 years ago. I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling here...

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