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Fresh delays for Care Record as supplier quits

A fresh question mark has been put over the ill-fated Summary Care Record system after the NHS agency handling the project failed to reach a contract agreement with a key supplier.

Negotiations broke down with IT specialists Fujitsu, which had had a £895m contract to due roll out the system across the south of England.

The set-back comes weeks after it was revealed the project had been put back until 2014 at the earliest.

News of the latest hitch has caused further gloom among family doctors leaders already disillusioned at slipping deadlines.

GPC and BMA council member Dr Kailash Chand said: ‘I'm not surprised. The Government has got to consult doctors and clinicians more, instead of imposing a system from the top like this.'

Dr Chand added that there would be a further delay and costs incurred by finding a replacement supplier.

NHS's Connecting for Health said: 'Regrettably and despite best efforts by all parties, it has not been possible to reach an agreement on the core Fujitsu contract that is acceptable to all parties. The NHS will therefore end the contract early by issuing a termination notice.'

The spokesperson added they would ‘continue to protect the interests of the taxpayer and preserve the basis of contracts which ensure payment on delivery.'

A spokesperson for Fujitsu said the company was committed to 'providing a smooth transition to new arrangements'.

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