Headlines: March 19th, 2002

The NHS is forecasting savings of 18.5 million pounds through a new software deal with Novell.The organisation has secured a single annual software licence agreement for the whole service, replacing the current system of individual authorities and trusts placing several thousand individual orders.

The Department of Health says the new deal will make networks, email and internet access all more cost effective, consistent and reliable.

The effort to secure the deal is said to reflect the change in attitude in the NHS towards IT – where it is no longer seen as an add-on or an optional extra, but an integral part of a modern health service.

It follows a similar coup in negotiating with software providers as that won earlier this month by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). OGC signed a deal with Microsoft, IBM/Lotus and SUN Microsystems which will offer central and local government users savings of 100 million pounds over the next three years. (See PublicNet Briefing of March 4, 2002)