back to article 500 Brit techies at risk over NHS IT fiasco

Up to 500 IT workers could lose their jobs over CSC's botched computer system for the NHS, which is costing everyone involved with the fiasco dearly. UK staff received an email that informed them the company had entered a 90-day consultation period to figure out how to reduce the number of people on the project - which could …


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  1. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Consultation period

    Has anyone ever been involved in a consultation period that achieved more than delay redundancy? Always seem like dragging out the pain to me.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: Consultation period

      2 words - Garden Leave :)

    2. LarsG


      WHEN they had started to outsource to India?


      Is this why 1,000,000 young people (under26) are unemployed here?

      Am I being political, ironic or cynical, you decide.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Consultation Period

    I worked at one place where throughout the period every proposal from staff to stave off redundancies was met by the answer "That does not meet the requirements of the business". Seems they had made up their minds, but had to follow the law by offering a 90 day consultation period.

    The only positive thing to come from it was 3 months pay in the bank and more time to look for another job.

    Anon, for obvious reasons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re: Consultation Period

      Similar experience, except they realised belatedly on the last day that they actually needed some of us permies for the business to continue and would we mind awfully if they didn't make us redundant.

      Some cheek after all the anguish had already been gone through. Most declined their kind offer and some were taken back on as contractors at a much higher rate.

      They are not legally allowed to be seen to make their minds up beforehand, which is why we have to endure the drawn out process. Though as you rightly say, 3 months paid job hunting is not to be sneezed at.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "This action is necessary mainly because we have now substantially completed many key development activities with NHS, and are now moving away from a focus on development work,"

    When? Where? Sorry that is Grade A Bovine Excrement!

  4. Chris Miller

    "costing everyone involved with the fiasco dearly"

    Unless they happen to be Ian Watmore, of course.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure most people do know several people up there.

    6 Years to write a booking system? It's my taxes.

    I think I can be happy that my taxes are no longer being given to people to sit and debate over coffee down in the riverside cafes. I can live with the pain of knowing several hundred people who've sat by and let their company rip me, the taxpayer, off, on a job that should have taken 5 people six months, are now going to have to work for a living.

    Select * From CVs where Not (Cv.Contains (NHS near Leeds))

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sure most people do know several people up there.

      To be fair, the 500 people at risk have probably been doing what they were asked despite complaining what a bad idea it was to split a single project into umpteen bits and divide it between competitive firms. The jobs should have gone from (a) the muppets who dreamed up the spec and contractual arrangements and (b) the muppets who signed up to the contract.

      1. Conor

        Doesn't add up

        Hang on a mo... 1.5bn. 500 IT staff. Can we assume the staff didn't pull in 3 million on average each? Or did the servers cost a billion quid? They're looking in the wrong place for cost savings. When third world dictators adscond with a billion notes, people seem horrified. It appears they're getting a better deal!!!

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    I feel a concertio coming on.

    For the world's smallest violin.

    There are no doubt lots of "reasons" why despite the *years* of time and 10s of £Bn (what was it £Bn12? £Bn15? as the official total. The real price will probably never be known) spent on this system it did achieve it's objectives. Someone actually *stating* what those were in a measurable way, and how they would be measured (and *not* changing them every few days), probably would have gone a good way toward success.

    But they could have jumped ship or complained to their managers about lack of actual direction (or backed up their managers as *they* complained tot he NHS about a lack of direction).

    But none of that actually happened.

    Like the people on the National Identity Register project they kept quiet and took the money. They just ploughed on with this colossal p***take of taxpayers money.

    The smart ones knew this day was coming and have their escape plan already.

    I feel a distinct lack of sympathy for any of them. You can raise that to the 10th power for any *management* types in there.

    As for the "500 high tech jobs at risk" routine does anyone detect the rancid fragrance of eau de BAe? That heady blend of easy access to the PM and special case whining.

    Thumbs up but it's only when companies that routinely f***up start loosing *serious* amounts of work that they they might *consider* improving the actual *delivery* of their project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I feel a concertio coming on.

      Spot on. Crying about it is like the Undertakers complaining about that newfangled Penicillin stuff, curing fatal diseases, and how awful it is that all these people are now going to live a bit longer.

      Tard's the lot of them for working on a big evil thing anyway. The less Big Government there is the better off we'd all be and not just financially.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: I feel a concerto coming on.

        Iny event it was either already all outsourced to India or would have been soon anyway. No great loss.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an American and CSC employee

    I would like to formally apologize to the good people of the UK, for the cluelessness of my company's executive management. They could fuck up a 2 car parade.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    A shame about the techies....

    But let's consider the long-suffering Brit taxpayer who at least gets to see one boondoggle (out of many) shut down!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    repeated cock-ups and failure

    As far as I recall, this is only the latest in a long line of large IT projects for government agencies that fail. The negotiatirs cannot be very clever, because they can't even use the vapid soundbite "lessons will be learned" any more, because after so many failures, there's no eveidence of learning at all.

    Now, ehenever I hear "IT project" and "government agency" in the same sentence, I know the future is almost always going to involve "failure" and "waste of millions of pounds" at some point.

    Because I was briefly involved in an early project, until I realized that chronic underfunding and ignorance amongst senior managers in the NHS was bound to make it fail, and so I withdrew, I need to make this anonymous.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only surprise here... how it ever took this long in the first place - I worked elsewhere in Leeds back in 2006 and it was a case of Dead Man Walking even back then.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    And even if CSC retain the staff what will they be assigned to?

    Some exciting new project perhaps?

    Or perhaps one of those other CSC project on the sick list because they are over running but they've got the "client" (or "mark" as I like to think of them) to cough up more green to hire more staff on to bring it in on time.

    Mine's the one with a copy of "The Mythical Man Month" in the pocket.

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