back to article CSC confirms $1.5bn NHS IT write-off

CSC has confirmed it is to write off almost $1.5bn as a result of its involvement in the National Programme for IT (NPfIT). In December 2011 the company, which had been contracted to supply electronic patient records systems to a number of NHS trusts, warned shareholders it may lose an amount equal to, or in excess of, its $1. …


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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    What he meant to say was:

    > these discussions have evolved into a potential go-forward framework that is currently in the government's review process,

    If we're lucky the government might bung some sympathy work our way. If that does happen, and our shares get back to anything like last year's level you won't see me (or the rest of the board) for dust.

    Now where did I leave my golden parachute?

    1. Roger Stenning


      I was about to post a question relating to that, asking for a translation into Plain English, but you beat me to the answer :)

      Why is it that these executive types cannot talk plainly?

  2. John Lewis 4

    Will the Chief Executive

    recieve a negative bonus as a result of the loss of this value to CSC?

    Don't hold your breath.

    1. An ominous cow heard

      Negative bonus as a result ?

      The Board will do just fine, thank you, as they generally do when they foul up.

      Those who lose out (and there will usually be some who will lose their jobs) will not be those who are responsible for this particular foul up.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Gavin Berry

    And lost us 500 people because of it.

    We have to lose 500 people from the NHS account because of it, and forced redundancy is included in the process too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who's going to pick up the pieces this time?

      When Fujitsu went tits up BT were asked to take over the southern region as well as London which they were already doing.

      What's going to happen if CSC bail out? Time to buy BT shares?

  4. Gordon Pryra

    Something tells me that you wont get many comments here. How many readers are contractors who have or may well work for CSC at some time ......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't that what handles and - if you must - posting anonymously - are for?

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    OMG. NHS actually gets money *back*

    I'm going to have to sit down.

    Seriously how often does a major UK institution get money *back* from one of the usual suspects?

    Trouble is they will be back sniffing round for the next round of reforms, no doubt pitching some kind of "accreditation management system" (WTF that is as it won't exist when they actually start talking about how great it is) to "help" those (budget holding) GP's hold their budgets (and get a chunk of them in the process).

    Personally I think the only think that *really* improves these guys will be being publicly *banned* from bidding by an organization they screwed over for X years.

    Otherwise it's the banking crisis all over again. Personal gains are kept and the stockholders pick up the pieces, no matter *how* insane the implementation plan was.

    Heads I get a $1m bonus, tails you see your shares drop 50%.

    Thumbs up for the NHS growing a set big enough to get something substantial off them.

    but I suspect CSC will learn nothing from the experience other than cover their tracks better next time.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Money going back?

      Who said anything about money going back?

      This is all about money they have spent that has not resulted in payments coming from the customer. Still a quite good thing from the NHS's point of view, but I'm sure everyone really wanted a working, applicable system developed within the budget.

      Still, not sure whether that was ever possible.

      1. arrbee

        Does the 1.5 billion refer to money they've actually spent, or to future income they expected to get ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "go-forward framework"

    A Zimmer frame, perhaps?

  7. Chris Griffin

    And the award for Corporate BS QotW goes to...

    ... "I'd say these discussions have evolved into a potential go-forward framework that is currently in the government's review process"

    This is a new one for me, and I work in this industry...

    1. Is it me?


      A framework is an agreement that lets you bid for contracts, so I suspect a go-forward framework is an agreement that lets you bid for frameworks.

      And knowing how popular CSC are in government, that probably is the upside for them.

      Most likely they are just a set of words that popped up to fill the vacuum that is an executive's head these days.

  8. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Great! So NHS users are fucked by a half-arsed system. Shareholders lose out on an investment. Taxpayers already lost out when their money got sent up in smoke in the first place on this bunch of clowns.

    Now let me see, who will actually walk away with a smug smile and pocket of cash, oh yes the directors and their MP mates who set up this huge scam!

  9. zedenne

    $1.5bn? are you f**king kidding me?

    I'm sorry, I've worked in startups and large corporates but I just can't understand how they could have possibly come up with such a large number for software development.

    How can it possibly have cost $1.5B to build some patient record mgt. apps for some NHS trusts (i.e. not all of them)?

    Up until the beginning of 2011 (pre the latest big cash injection from goldman sachs) facebook had a total investment of $800M. Now obviously at some point FB started generating actual operating income to offset cost but it's the largest social network in the world with something like 14x the number of users as there are people in the UK.

  10. daoxin

    If you look back, Accenture jumped ship from this contract some years back as did Fujitsu, who now look to have engaged lawyers to sue HMG for monies they claim are due. If anything, I've some sympathy with CSC for hanging in there, trying to please the customer by keeping up with the moving goalposts that were the user requirements. Would be good to have a full detailed independent public enquiry into how the programme started, how it got to now, what went wrong and what could have been done earlier to sort it. I think the senior servants involved would fight that tooth and nail though.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Posting anonymously so the black helicopters don't come for me. But having worked for CSC in the past it doesn't surprise me that they can lose that kind of money on a project.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CSC = Fail!

    Its hardly surprising they are loosing out, over promised and under delivered and did nothing but drive those of us FORCED to work with them round the twist!

    I promise you there are at least a dozen companies who are jumping for joy as a result of the demise of NPfIT primarily as no one will be forced to integrate with the worse piece of programming since Windows ME!

    They calculate the figure from teh projected revenue, they are 1.5Billion out of pocket, just 1.5billion short of what they thought they could scam out of the NHS and ultimately the tax payer!


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CSC seemingly don't know how to play the game. Other software providers seem to be able to fail big govt. I/T projects and make money.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How come BT continue to make money out of this

    yet Fujitsu, Accenture and now CSC have all crumbled under crippling costs???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably because BT got paid for delivering their PoS spine network whereas the others were forced to invest millions in infrastructure for what seemed to be a guaranteed end user base that need 4 datacentres full of tech then got shafted by a completely inept CfH NPfIT whatever they're calling themselves this week...

      So glad I ducked out of that fail waiting to happen years ago ;-)

      1. Gareth 7

        But as well as SPINE and N3 BT is also delivering

        PACS, Cerner Milleniom Acute and Rio Community and Mental Health applications to the majority of trusts in London and the South of England and I don't see them going to the wall.

        Maybe it's just economies of scale - presumably BT has plenty of high capacity data centres piped in and ready to go.

  15. Farmer Geddon

    As an end user

    Its hardly surprising.

    I am sat at my Win XP PC using IE6 to post this.

    To access the patient admin system I need my smartcard and logon.

    To access the clinical system I have to logout of the admin system and log in to the clinical system

    To access results I have to log on to a different programme using an RDC.

    The PACS system requires a shut down of one of the above and a separate logon.

    Utter and abject fail.

    1. Gareth 7

      Anything that makes it hard for a el reg reader to access my medical records

      the better ;-)

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