Resellers have begun circling for the expected NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) sub-contracts, following the award of the project's final Local Service Provider (LSP) contract last week.
The Fujitsu Alliance won the £896m, 10-year contract to cover the southern region. NPfIT head Richard Granger said: "The programme will now focus on ensuring delivery of quality services to a challenging timetable."
Steve Reynolds, managing director services at corporate VAR Civica, said the LSPs are firms that already use sub-contracting models. "The NHS is a giant body and does not want to deal with lots of different suppliers, so the LSPs are the point of contact," he said.
"Most of these firms use other companies to support them, and if you do not develop relationships with LSPs it will be difficult to win contracts."
Dave Marriner, director of healthcare at VAR WCI, said: "Resellers should be keeping a close eye on all these deals, to see exactly how they can make them work to their advantage."
Separately, the NPfIT is holding meetings with specialist healthcare software developer EMIS, after the vendor, which supplies systems to more than half of the UK's GPs, said it will not sign contracts in their current form with LSPs.
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