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Patient record scheme firm pulls out

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The NHS electronic patient records scheme suffered a setback today when the electronics firms running a large part of it withdrew.
After talks with the government, Fujitsu’s £896m contract to launch and run the scheme in the south of England has been terminated.

Nurses will still be able to use existing programs installed by Fujitsu, but those waiting for programs to be installed will have to wait until a new provider is found.

The final cost of the NHS IT programme, of which the electronic patient record is a part, is expected to be £12.7bn. It is expected to be completed in 2010.

A Fujitsu spokesperson said: ‘Fujitsu Services can confirm that we have now taken the decision to withdraw from the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) contract re-set negotiations with NHS Connecting for Health as we did not feel there was a prospect of an acceptable conclusion. Our contract with the NHS will therefore end early.'
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