back to article NHS looks to the market for advice on one system to replace two separate, giant Oracle ERP and HR systems

NHS England is looking to replace the HR and ERP systems used by hospitals, community services and family doctors with a single integrated ERP based in the cloud. The system will look after services which affect more than a million staff and billions of pounds worth of health budgets. In a tentative tender notice published …

  1. Kerry Hoskin

    £9.8bn I read somewhere it was more like £12bn. I wonder if paddy power will take bets on this being a utter cluster fuck in about 5 years time!? The payout might pay for my retirement!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, I doubt you will be able to get enough action on the other side of that wager to retire on. Maybe you can take the wife out for a nice dinner on the proceeds though.

  2. RSW

    to soon ?

    Excel or Google sheets?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: to soon ?

      OpenOffice Calc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      Re: to soon ?

      Where's the love for LibreOffice??

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: to soon ?

      Use Excel 97, waiting lists cut at a stroke!

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: to soon ?

      Exactly what I came here to say.

      Even with the 65K rows restriction in older .xls formats, it would still be an improvement.

    5. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: to soon ?

      So long as it can receive fax messages!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS DON'T include GP's in this. Having spent time at an MSP supporting a large number of GP's surgeries in a county they are a total nightmare. Don't forget these are separate individual business they are NOT NHS and pretty much do what they want. Oh the fun onboarding them and trying to replace on prem DC's and other kit. If a surgery don't want to do something they won't the CCG might moan about it but that's about it

    1. NeilPost

      ... as are dentists. Most people confuse GP Practices and Dentists as being part of the NHS whereas they are both (evil bloodsucking) Private Providers to the NHS.

      Most have only just got stable IT and links to Apps, ePrescriptions and Patient Administration Systems (PAS).

      Esp. as BoJo/Hancock are about to engage on a power grab and another round of unnecessary change in NHS England unwinding Andrew Lansley’s previous efforts.

      Please don’t fuck them up in this insane rush for fully integrated cloudy ERP/SaaS solutions.

      ... thankfully NHS Scotland/Wales/NI are devolved from this madness, but will be impacted badly too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if you want your mind blown watch this I was shown this when I joined an MSP supporting the numerous NHS related clients, CCG, GP surgeries.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      That story ended with the sentence "this story will inevitably continue".

      But it was a pre brexit story, so there are many questions, some perhaps rather disturbing.

    2. Chris G

      So based on what I gleaned from the video, the NHS is fragmented into so many different body, organisations and systems, that there are probably 20-30 managers, administrative and support staff for every doctor and nurse or qualified medical practitioner.

      It looks as though the whole thing needs to be nuked from above and started from scratch. Of course that would not be too good for anyone who is currently unwell.

      A clusterfuck wrapped in a disaster falling down a money hole!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Then you got the wrong message. NHS admin costs are actually lower than other systems. Clinicians are even calling out for more admin support so that they can actually get on with their clinical job.

        The NHS remains very good value for money, could be better yeah, but be very very careful with what approaches you think should be taken.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          that might be true but the average moron in the UK thinks there shouldn't be any managers and the NHS should be just made up of Dr's and nurses. There is always uproar with the amount of cash "managers" get paid and Dr's and nurses should be paid more. Last time I looked Drs were very well paid, especially compared to many of us who have to support IT systems within the NHS that is critical to providing care.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I watched the video along with maybe another 6 people at my induction a couple of years ago, we all sat there opened mouthed watching it! Average Joe in the UK just don't realise what the NHS is, there are sooooo many layers of BS and hanger on'ers all at the whimsey of whatever party happens to be in power. The video is a few years old now so will have changed quite a bit, a few more layers of shite will have been added

      3. midgepad

        Not fragmented

        Being assembled.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    obvious cloud deployment

    This should definitely be a cloud solution.

    no point mucking about with on prem & should be available for use by GP's & other NHS parasites.

    the NHS is too big & too fragmented to anything else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: obvious cloud deployment

      why Cloud?

      On prem in crown hosting is cheaper, more stable and more reliable than any cloud vendor. MS have had a massive outage recently, AWS has had outages and the less said about Google losing peoples data the better.

      I could easily be built around Oracle Databases, be 100% resilient without handing yourself over to US based cloud providers desperate for the data.

      1. seldom

        Re: obvious cloud deployment

        I was on board,until you mentioned Oracle

  6. grolma

    Looks like they havent learned anything from NPfIT.

    More vapourware coming our way :-(

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    A hornet's nest within a can of worms running systems worth billions of pounds..

    and will never work properly

    be despised by staff

    cost at least three times the current estimate

    and be five years late.

  8. Anne Hunny Mouse

    Hopefully it will be better than the existing systems.

    Both the Oracle finance and MyESR are hideous

  9. Falmari Silver badge


    Why is there a need to have everything in a single solution?

    This is a genuine question, this seems to be the way both the Private and Public Sector are moving.

    What are the pros and cons of a single solution?

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Indeed. Specify what APIs will be used based on what the medical staff need, For robustness, distributed systems communicating via stable API should be more robust and once the GPs systems can talk to central databases (where necessary) and each other, If properly implemented (stop snickering over there) it could be built from local GP and hospital up incrementally. OK, back to padded cell

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why?

        More detail needed, but on the right track. Architecturally, you build everything around decentralized microservices that all adhere to strict standards (e.g. FHIR, for one) in how they store and retrieve data, with agents in the background to cross-check consistency (I know there's a better word for it). Oracle, Microsoft or IBM won't give you that because they're still too committed to monolithic models. Google or AWS _could_ do it, but as others have said, are more comfortable as purveyors of components than systems. Netflix has the architects and engineers who would know how to do it right, but they're in a completely different industry and aren't crazy greedy enough to take this on. Truth is, there isn't a commercial vendor out there who could do this that would do this. NHS needs to stop wasting time and money looking for a private partner and start hiring its own internal staff to do this.

  10. marchad

    A Bargain

    I can't believe that the failed NPfIT was only £10b.

    That doesn't even buy you a failing Track and Trace app nowadays.

    I dread to think how much money will be thrown at this by the Government to the right provider

  11. Anon321

    The Problem with a Single Solution is that if you need to make an Immediate Change the Entire System has to Come off line for Six Months and be Tested.

    The bigger the System, the longer the testing takes.

    1. Lars Silver badge


      That is rather pessimistic view and simply not true unless the system is really poorly designed.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        >>> the system is really poorly designed.

        Yep, I think you nailed it there!

  12. Jim Whitaker

    Oh dear.

  13. steamnut

    Food for the Register

    Whatever the final decision, history tell us that the budget will be blown, deadlines will never be met and performance will be less than hoped for.

    All in all it will keep The Register fed with stories for many more years.

  14. briesmith

    Options for the NHS

  15. Backsplash

    Been here, done that


    I've experience with NHS use of Oracle HR or rather the underuse and misuse of it. It really doesn't matter what whiz-bang system you put in place unless your invest in user training and try to get them to break out of thinking that the last crippleware imposed on them. Oracle HR might not be not be whiz-bang but if you use it right it's an advancement on a bunch of shitty spreadsheets and organisational diagrams knocked up in Powerpoint by a middle manager (or their PA) that bear no relationship to reality.

  16. plrndl

    Translation: "Throwing billions of taxpayers' money at imaginary "solutions" is the new black in Boris's government, and we want a piece (a BIG piece) of the action"

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