CSC pulls NHS workers, but talks 'going well'

CSC said it remains confident that the Lorenzo patient record system in the U.K. is viable in the long run.

Guy Hains, president of CSC's healthcare business, said dialogue with the U.K.'s National Health Service is "fundamentally going well," but the deal to rescope the Lorenzo patient record system is complex. In the meantime, CSC is removing 30 percent of its workforce on the NHS project that was lined up for the yet-to-be-signed agreement.

On Tuesday, CSC said that it expected to sign a deal with NHS, but negotiations have dragged on. "I would say that the delay reflects the complexity of the change being undertaken and the need for very detailed agreements," said Hains on a conference call.

Meanwhile, the U.K. is facing a budget crunch. So far the talks only deal with the Lorenzo system. "I can also confirm that our discussions only relate to the rescoping of Lorenzo and that the ongoing service provision that we provide to 2,000 other systems we've installed continues as before as does the revenue stream we enjoy," said Hains.

Hains indicated that the Lorenzo project is a small part of CSC's revenue stream and that 80 percent of the product is complete. Hains added that CSC was optimistic. He said:

Looking to the longer term we remain confident in Lorenzo, its technical platform, the extent to which it really answers the NHS efficiency needs plus the very positive feedback that we get from the field in the UK. Additionally, we do see significant potential in applying this experience to other health markets globally.

Hains was later asked when the remaining 20 percent of Lorenzo would be completed. He added:

We have a product ready to go, which answers specifically the core administration of particularly the hospital environment. That's a complete package that handles administration, back-office activities, and we are now adding additional components in areas of the prescribing emergency care plans and also a mental health module. That represents the core of the product, and we will then subsequently, in normal product development, create other subsequent departmental deployments. And those will be as a normal product company would approach the market.

In other words, NHS will be ready to roll with the current Lorenzo system, and the remaining 20 percent will be finished "in due course."