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Prime contractors

NHS Connecting for Health's role is to maintain and develop the NHS national IT infrastructure. This infrastructure includes a number of national services and applications, which have been introduced through a series of local and national contracts.

It was recognised that a single supplier was unlikely to have sufficient capacity to deliver all the new services and applications for the NHS.

It was decided to divide work into two main components:

  • develop IT systems to be used by all users across England
  • develop systems to be used locally and ensure these link with the national systems.

Local Service Providers (LSPs) were selected through a competitive procurement under Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) rules.

The LSPs act as integrators, ensuring existing local systems meet national standards and that they facilitate data flow between the local and national systems.

To do this they upgrade or replace hardware and software as appropriate. They also train trainers and provide resources for local NHS organisations to help them ensure their staff have the skills to use the new systems. LSPs are responsible for appointing their own subcontractors.

National Application Service Providers (NASPs)


BT is the NASP for the national data Spine that carries summary information about healthcare and forms the core of the NHS Care Records Service.

BT is also responsible for N3, the national broadband network linking NHS sites.

Atos Origin

Atos Origin is the NASP for Choose and Book which enables first outpatient appointments to be booked at GP surgeries, online or through a call centre.

Cable and Wireless

Cable and Wireless is the NASP for NHSmail, the national email and directory service for NHS staff.

Local Service Providers (LSPs)

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is the LSP for the North Midlands and East Programme for IT, delivering software developed by its main subcontractor iSoft.

More recently, CSC assumed responsibility for picture archiving and communications systems and radiology informations systems rolled-out as part of the national programme in the south. It is also rolling-out the national clinical IT system for prisons across England.

BT Capital Care Alliance

BT Capital Care Alliance is the LSP for the London Programme for IT, with Cerner as main subcontractor.

On 31 March 2009 BT also assumed responsibility for eight trusts live with Cerner in the south (this has since reduced to seven, as one trust merged with a trust outside the programme). Three acute trusts have since joined the southern programme, bringing the total to ten. It is also rolling-out the RiO community/mental health system to 25 trusts in the south.

Additional Supply and Capability and Capacity (ASCC)

An Additional Supply and Capability and Capacity procurement is taking place in the south of England alongside the involvement of the LSPs BT and CSC there.

This exercise involves procurements for: communities and child health, ambulance, and acute (including order communications, electronic prescribing, integration, scheduling, clinical documents and patient administration systems).

Enterprise Wide Arrangements

Enterprise Wide Arrangements (EWAs) enable individual NHS organisations to take advantage of the purchasing power of the health service as a whole. It means they can obtain hardware, software and services at low cost.

In negotiating these arrangements, NHS Connecting for Health insisted on subcontractors giving the NHS the status of enduring Global Most Favoured Customer. That means the rates the NHS pays must be the lowest available anywhere in the world.

Companies with whom EWAs have been agreed include:

  • Cisco Systems
  • Documentum
  • EMC
  • Health Language Inc
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Microsoft
  • Novell
  • Oracle
  • SeeBeyond
  • Sun Microsystems
  • TATA Consultancy Services

LSP media relations contacts:


Jon Moggridge
0207 809 7098
07918 058 870


Joanne Davis
01252 536 737
07799 476 532

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