back to article CSC locked out of new NHS contracts

Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday CSC had been suspended from new NHS contracts while the future of the £4.7bn patient record programme is assessed. Tory MP for Norfolk Richard Bacon said the NHS IT programme "will never deliver on its early promise, that in particular CSC has failed with Lorenzo and that, rather …


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  1. MrCheese
    Thumb Up

    Wow....just wow

    Whoda thunk the government would one day wake up to the shameless robbery being commited by it's contractors, hopefully the trend of outing the useless pork-barrelling chumps will continue

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Not such good news for iSoft. Talking of which, any ex-iSofties out there?

    1. Andy 17

      @AC re iSoft...

      I'm ex CCS/Revive/iSoft

    2. Displacement Activity


      Nearly ex-user, anyway. Our PCT's now 50% SystmOne. No money for anything else.

  3. LPF
    Thumb Down

    As someone who hone worked on that project...

    I can say from the start it was doomed... the iSoft software in particular was a humougous piece of execrement, programmed out in india as they were cheap. When we asked for bugfixes, they would return the soffware with dialog clours improved but none of the bugs actually fixed!!!

    One of the problems that I had to deal with, was the way it was sending messages, for some reason it would always send the same message twice oh so it seemed, which when dealing with a system that would be expected to send millions during the day , and all of them having to be stored in a database for audit, a bit of a problem. After 6 months of trying virtually everything to solve this, finally tracked it down to idiot devs , putting the word 'OK' instead of the equiverlent Http success message, and using that for doing thier debugging and leaving it in the network code for handling SOAP messages!!!! Of course our software was confused by the fact they had broken the HTTP standard at network level, and was interpreting it as two diffent messages being sent to it !!!

    Outsoucing got to love it! :S

    1. Anonymous Coward


      That sounds more like a bug in your code to me. If for whatever reason you were receiving an incorrectly formatted message you shouldn't have processed it at all never mind twice!

  4. Nick Davey

    Good old CSC

    Best thing I ever did was leaving them, far too big a company to ever do anything properly or cost effectively, all those project managers need a slice of the pie afterall.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    @ Nick Davey

    I agree there. I work for an iSoft partner and how they ever accomplish anything is beyond me!!

  6. LPF
    Thumb Up


    Nope, they pphysically changed the HTTP spec, I had to resort to using Netmon to actually look at what they had done. They swapped the HTTP OK, with the word 'OK' this caused IIS to split it into 2 separate messages and send that to the test apps.

    Believe , there was many a night I wished it had of been a bug in my code, I would have found the SOB a damn sight faster than the 6 months it took to track it down. Who the F*ck goes and changes the HTTP for no reason , escapes me , which is why it took me so long to twig what the idiots had done. Due to time pressures we just changed are system to ignore the second message, but in the end I decided that like getting stabbed in the leg and treating it by wearing red trousers!, so decided to hunt it down! lol

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      "Nope, they pphysically changed the HTTP spec, I had to resort to using Netmon to actually look at what they had done."

      This suggests 2 problems you need to be aware of when using outsourced labor.

      1)Some of them are *very* smart and will contrive elaborate (and *unexpected* and apparently undocumented) ways to solve a problem, even a possibly simple problem.

      2)Their so impressed by how clever they've been they don' realise how stupid they have been.

      Thumbs up for finding such a "clever" feature. I'm guessing Netmon is not something you use to save regular problems on your day job.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iSoft? works fine the problem with thos projects is . . . . . .

    usually an ever changing mind / requirements of the client, or not setting proper specs at the start of a project.

    oh and yes @LPF competent developers realy does help.


    I worked for a couple of hospitals in NZ and they use iSoft and it is sending patent records across the country without any problems and handles all the usuall admin / record keeping in and around the hospitals i.e. their trusted Patient Management System.

  9. zen1

    Damn it!

    As someone who currently works for CSC, where I constantly witness the usual "Ready, Fire, Aim" mentality, I wonder how many more hours we're going to have to work now or what additional cuts will have to be made to ensure management gets their bonuses, given this latest revelation?

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    And ....

    The new contract will go to IBM, CapGemini, whoever is next in line.

    It will have exactly the same loose changing spec, lack of management and accountability. Every new toy, passing fad and political initiative will be added on to it , or it's budget.

    It will be be budgeted to cost more, since it has to handle all the crap from the last contract - but will strangely overrun while still not doing what the current broken system does.

    And the actual work will be done by exactly the same outsourced programmers as did this lot.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @ye Another anonymous coward

      And you can bet the powers that be would rather *die* than re-factor it into smaller *self* contained parts that *could* be tendered (and implemented) by organisations with < 1000 staff whose annual budget would not cover what the last govt p***ed up against a wall on lunches for planning meetings on this abortion.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    OMG A supplier is actually *penalised* for being bad.


    Confirm all Gloster Oldspot's have been fed and watered

    Prepare Squadron for takeoff!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    CSC dumped - excellent news. And not before time.

    "broke almost every rule of successful project management" - business as usual then. CSC could use that statement in their strapline.

    Or use the Register's Fail icon as their logo. So long as the corners were cut...

    1. zen1

      I think

      That's mantra #3 in the catalyst manual.

  13. Is it me?

    Can I Just Ask?

    Is there a good SI who knows what they are doing?

    Probably not, so are they really the problem?

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