BT’s NHS IT contract hits £1 billion

BT's contract with the NHS IT project is now worth 1 billion, according to new figures released in parliament.

The contract to deliver the data network dubbed "Spine" for the 12.6 billion National Programme for IT (NPfIT) was originally worth 620 million. According to a written statement from health minister Ben Bradshaw, changes in what was required lead to the increase.

Bradshaw also detailed the potential payout to Fujitsu, which in May walked away from its contract to deliver services in the south of England. The minister said the contract featured a liability cap for both parties per year of the contract. Fujitsu's liability to the Department of Health is capped at 100 million annually to a maximum of 500 million, while the department's liability tops out at 50 million each year.

Bradshaw said that it was impossible to yet know when a new supplier would be able to deploy the systems put on hold by Fujitsu walking out. But he added: "However, it is possible that some services, such as systems to support mental health and community health services, may in the event be delivered more quickly than was originally anticipated through existing contracts with other suppliers."