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Accenture pulls out of core NHS IT services

Global consulting giant hands over the keys to CSC as planned, following health service IT debacle
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Written by David Meyer, Freelance reporter on

Consulting firm Accenture has completed its withdrawal from delivering core IT services to the National Health Service.

The company withdrew from the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) — the largest civilian IT project in history — in September 2006, abandoning most of its £2bn contracts with the NHS in the process.

It is thought that the exit was prompted by the delayed delivery of key software by UK firm iSoft, which was subcontracted by both Accenture and the other major IT contractor involved in the project, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

Accenture's transfer of core services in the East and Northeast to CSC was completed on Monday as planned, according to the NHS department responsible for NPfIT, Connecting for Health. However, Accenture will still be responsible for delivering medical imaging systems.

The delay in the delivery of Lorenzo, the software package at the heart of the troubles, has already cost iSoft dearly, both financially and in terms of executive resignations. It has been claimed that the company "oversold" delivery targets for Lorenzo. iSoft is also being investigated by the Financial Services Authority for potential accounting irregularities.

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