The NHS National Project for IT (NPfIT) is warning its suppliers that changes lie ahead as some systems could become obsolete.
The message follows recent NPfIT guidelines advising suppliers to prepare for changes following the completion of the contract phase of the £6bn project.
Core to the programme are iSoft?s Lorenzo and IDX Systems? Carecast clinical software applications. In its document entitled Initial guidance for existing systems suppliers, the NPfIT claimed these will ultimately replace existing systems.
"The NPfIT appreciates that existing suppliers must make sound business plans during this period," said the document.
Guidance for suppliers of other products will follow, as different phases of implementation are completed.
The NPfIT has also set up its Existing Systems Programme to work with incumbent suppliers. This team will work with suppliers on making their systems interoperable and agreeing and implementing wider strategies.
But the channel is positive about the new ways of working in the healthcare sector. John Griffith, public-sector consultant at reseller cScape, said: "The LSPs [local service providers] are still planning and developing the top-tier infrastructure and we are expecting some activity when they get down to the level where we provide services."
CScape sells web products based on the Microsoft platforms.
Dave Marriner, director of healthcare at reseller WCI, which sells IT products and integration services to the NHS, said working on compliance with the NPfIT is uncomplicated.
"We take a business case to the NPfIT, and if agreed, it gives us its end of the interface and we do the other," he said. "It will improve the system, with templates for suppliers to work around."
Separately, the NPfIT has announced six enterprise-wide deals with key suppliers. This includes deals with Cisco, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Sun.
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