A leaked report on the state of IT in Scotland's NHS has revealed that services giant Computer Science Corporation (CSC) was working in a penny-pinching system riddled with problems.
The report was leaked to PC Dealer by a source close to NHS management because it showed a strong desire for 'national vision'. A working group of Scottish NHS chief executives surveyed managers and investigated systems and found investment was poor - 'below that found in the NHS in England and well below industry levels'.
In some areas, the report identified 'gross underfunding' and said that money was often wasted on worthless projects. The report also found the NHS IT systems were 'many years and several generations behind the level taken for granted in other sectors'. The report places year 2000 readiness sixth in its list of concerns about IT in the NHS in Scotland.
As revealed in PC Dealer last week (10 June), CSC announced it was walking away from the contract, estimated to be worth #20 million, after the Scottish Office changed the terms and broke it into eight different parts.
A CSC source said the company did not want to bid for eight separate contract sections. It was also concerned about the contract being let again so close to the millennium.
'It is not possible to work for a national vision when the contract has been broken into eight parts. There might have been complaints about CSC's performance, but look at the environment it had to work in,' said the source.
Unison union officer David Watson backed CSC in its effort to keep the contract in one piece. He said it was impossible to achieve the national vision that was aspired to with the eight separate contracts.
CSC was unavailable to comment officially on the report.
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