back to article IBM wins contract to support NHS App

NHS Digital has awarded IBM a £52.4 million ($60.2 million) contract for supporting and developing the NHS App, which the UK government plans to make the standard way for health services to communicate with patients. In a contract award notice published late last month, the now defunct Department of Health agency said Big Blue …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge


    But also

    "standard way for health services to communicate with patients."

    What about our builder who's in his 70s and has never owned and not interested in owner a smart phone.

    1. Spanners Silver badge

      Re: Mistake

      He will use a "non-standard" way. There will be many people who have to. The number will go down over time but there will always be some people who are unable to use IT.

      I am less keen on those who could but choose not to for silly reasons. Being 70 and never having had one before is perfectly reasonable though.

      1. Mike 140

        Re: Mistake

        Please define "silly reasons"

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Mistake

          The tinfoil hat brigade, for starters.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mistake

            Why, because they are worried about the government "tracking and tracing" them?

          2. botfap

            Re: Mistake

            The problem with the tinfoil hat brigade is that the last decade has proved them to be correct about an alarming number of topics. Infact, if we spent more time listening, as opposed to making smarmy comments, we could have avoided many of the large scale fuck ups we are dealing with today. We were warned in advance and we chose to ignore, either through arrogance or general stupidity, myself included

            The trend away from smartphones to dumb phones has already started, we have already hit peak smartphone market penetration. In the field of OpSec, smartphones are already a quaint throwback to 2016. In the field of embedded systems development, many developers (about 40-50% in my company) simply refuse to carry one, either personal or company supplied. Business cards are back in vogue at embedded conferences

            While I personally still use one (carefully) because the convenience factor is just to high for me, I wont demand that my staff use them. They have good reason to be concerned

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Mistake

          Silly reasons? How about a forty minute phone call to arrange a couple of blood tests that are not available on the standard menu like what I done today.

          1. Al fazed Bronze badge

            Re: Mistake

            Or 10 hours spent using the NHS 111 service, sends you to the web, which sends you back to your phone call. Oh yes and when they answered....some smarmy twat insisted that I had to pay £40 up front in order to book an appointment for emergency dental treatment for a painful abcess.

            I would have to wait from Friday afternoon until Wednesday to get the "emergency" treatment, travel 40 miles to Huddersfield at my expense to have said treatment. I am 69 years old and have a certificate which entitles to free dental treatment, but not according to the NHS 111 receptionist.

            I needed anti biotics to prevent blood poisoning making my condition more complex to treat, but with the existing NHS app, that is not possible. Will making everything go through the mobile phone change this shitty emergency service ? I very much doubt it.


        3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Mistake

          Like not wanting to tell Google all about me. I DON'T USE APPS because I have to have a Google account to install them. So my privacy is immediately lost -- Google has just discovered that I have installed the NHS app. Why should they know?

          And then to get the app to work I'll have to allow some permissions, such as access to contacts, or data, or pictures or whatever. How do I know the app isn't collecting that data?

          My phone has a browser -- Firefox, because I don't use the Google spyware. Why can't I just use a webpage to connect to the NHS? FFS.

          Oh yeah, I remember, coz they can use my data to sell me additional 'appropriate services'. Cunts.

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Mistake

        What about being an IT consultant, perfectly au fait with technology and would actually like to spend less time on a smart phone, and therefore is trying (unsuccessfully) to move to a Nokia? That way he'll spend less time craning his neck, and therefore won't need to visit the doctor so often. Also, because mental health and spending too much time on social media.

        Not anyone in particular, just an example. ;-)

      3. Smeagolberg

        Re: Mistake

        >I am less keen on those who could but choose not to for silly reasons.

        I think:

        - You're a kid.

        - You have little understanding of misuse of data.

        - You use 'social media' umpteen times a day.

        I claim my prize.

        1. Spanners Silver badge

          Re: Mistake


          I'm 62 - although that never proves i'm grown up

          I've given IG training in the past

          It depends on what you mean by "social media" and "umpteen". This could be defined as social media and if umpteen is more than twice, then often guilty.

          Your prize is a lump of coal.

      4. Al fazed Bronze badge

        Re: Mistake

        I suppose you think that sharing all of your persnal data with unknown company(s) or individual(s) is NOT silly - this is your world. IT certainly doesn't make any sense at all in mine.

        For a start and I have said this before ......... the NHS system does not record anything to do with personal visits to a Choropractor, purchases of essential oils for the treatment of everything from athletes foot to sciatic pain, or the use of none prescribed medications such as, comfrey for the treatment of bruises and broken bones, never mind the effective use of cannabinoids on skin cancer and psilocybin for depression and anxiety.

        So, there are those of us who still believe in the NHS and those of us who are apparently stuck with it, shit as it is and are already well used to looking elsewhere for our treatments and remedies.

        So if I don't want chemotherapy, physiotherapy or prescription drugs, or use their equally crap app on my phone or computer etc, it isn't silly ...........


    2. MrBanana Silver badge

      Re: Mistake

      Or my mother, who is 86, fully compos mentis [*] but legally blind. A basic phone, with very large keys, is her only method of communication with the outside world. Fortunately, her local doctors surgery is very accommodating.

      * - OK she's a bit bonkers, but who does't have a mother like that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh. They awarded the contract to IBM, so it will be over budget and broken.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      It'll also be offshore-manned, meaning medical records will be accessible by minimum wage employees in Hyderabad.

      1. Snowy Silver badge

        Hyderabad is getting to expensive, it will be some place in Africa instead.

  3. MrMerrymaker

    Ex IBM and NHS employee here

    IBM running the NHS app?

    From the NHS's point of view never say "it can't get any worse"

  4. msobkow Silver badge

    Well, then you can count on extra charges, code that doesn't work, and a system that abjectly fails to meet the requirements specified. Good job. Maybe next time you can do even worse and go with Oracle instead. :(

  5. Tom 7 Silver badge

    So they will be killing off older people then?


    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: So they will be killing off older people then?

      They already have PR text available for use if that ever gets out:

      "Discrimination of any kind is entirely against our culture and who we are at IBMNHS, and there was (and is) no systemic age discrimination at our companyhospitals"

      1. Al fazed Bronze badge

        Re: So they will be killing off older people then?

        Only BAME's need apply for NHS jobs.




    2. GuldenNL

      Re: So they will be killing off older people then?

      You best me to it.

      Take your uovote. I'm off to snack on some Soylant Green.

    3. Flywheel

      Re: So they will be killing off older people then?

      Setting up the new app:

      Please select your Age Group:

      [ ] 0-13

      [ ] 14-19

      [ ] 20-55

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