NHS told to stop buying Microsoft software while negotiations take place

The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom has been told to halt all purchases of Microsoft software as the Cabinet Office prepares to negotiate a new pan-government deal with the company.

According to The Register, the Crown Representative is said to be leading talks with around 20 of the biggest suppliers of technology to the public sector; these include Microsoft, HP and IBM amongst others.

Negotiations on the deal are believed to have already started, at least according to letters leaked to The Register, which were sent by Stephen Kelly, who is part of the Crown Representative leading the talks.

In the letters Kelly stated, "It is my intention to develop a commercial arrangement with Microsoft which will provide better commercial terms; reduced cost and add greater flexibility,"

"The focus of the government in its engagement with strategic suppliers is to act with one voice to secure the most favourable terms, therefore I ask for your continued support during this process and that you refrain from non-business critical spend with Microsoft until a new commercial arrangement is secured."

The UK’s Coalition government previously cancelled an Enterprise Wide Agreement with Microsoft late last year, which was worth over £80m. The reasoning behind this was said to be a lack of business case or the budget to justify it.

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65 Comments

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ahhell said,
More reliable "news" from The Register.
*sigh*

Regardless of the source (I dislike El Reg as much as everyone else), I'd be surprised if it weren't true. When the new government came in, one of the first things to go in NHS ICT departments was the enterprise agreements with Microsoft. We're talking about crazy discounts in this agreement as well, since the agreement extended to 10s of thousands of PCs. As a result, anyone wanting MS software in the NHS now has to pay a much higher price.

What percentage of I.T. dept's within the NHS are still being run by the NHS directly? I was employed by Siemens Healthcare Services to do the IT for all the NHS buildings local to me well over 10 years ago and would have thought all NHS IT would have been contracted to an outside source by now? Please enlighten me if you have any info.

EGG[ said,]What percentage of I.T. dept's within the NHS are still being run by the NHS directly? I was employed by Siemens Healthcare Services to do the IT for all the NHS buildings local to me well over 10 years ago and would have thought all NHS IT would have been contracted to an outside source by now? Please enlighten me if you have any info.

Different Trusts do things differently. Where i work we're still fully employed by the NHS, and get the same perks and benefits as everyone else working for the NHS.

EGG[ said,]What percentage of I.T. dept's within the NHS are still being run by the NHS directly? I was employed by Siemens Healthcare Services to do the IT for all the NHS buildings local to me well over 10 years ago and would have thought all NHS IT would have been contracted to an outside source by now? Please enlighten me if you have any info.

Different Trusts do things differently. Where i work we're still fully employed by the NHS, and get the same perks and benefits as everyone else working for the NHS.

EGG[ said,]What percentage of I.T. dept's within the NHS are still being run by the NHS directly? I was employed by Siemens Healthcare Services to do the IT for all the NHS buildings local to me well over 10 years ago and would have thought all NHS IT would have been contracted to an outside source by now? Please enlighten me if you have any info.

Different Trusts do things differently. Where i work we're still fully employed by the NHS, and get the same perks and benefits as everyone else working for the NHS.

zikalify said,
Follow Russia. Use a govt version of linux in schools and other govt owned institutes.

Yes, let the government have full access to the entire country, great idea. I don't think anyone could seriously trust an O.S. made by a government.

funkydude said,

Yes, let the government have full access to the entire country, great idea. I don't think anyone could seriously trust an O.S. made by a government.


LMAO if it's Government already, they already have full access, duh!

zikalify said,
Follow Russia. Use a govt version of linux in schools and other govt owned institutes.

+1
All state run entities should be using open source and open standards.

cleverclogs said,

LMAO if it's Government already, they already have full access, duh!

Uh no. Only the people that need it have access to medical records.

djdanster said,
Well the computers desperately need upgrading. My mum works for the NHS and they use Windows 2000

Windows 2000 is a great OS and it is much better than much of the new junk that Microsoft is making. If they want to upgrade for security purposes, they should upgrade to RHEL or SUSE Linux. Both have much better security than stuff from Microsoft. If security is not the motivation, then there really is not much point to an upgrade. After all, if it is not broken, why fix it?

Shining Arcanine said,

Windows 2000 is a great OS and it is much better than much of the new junk that Microsoft is making. If they want to upgrade for security purposes, they should upgrade to RHEL or SUSE Linux. Both have much better security than stuff from Microsoft. If security is not the motivation, then there really is not much point to an upgrade. After all, if it is not broken, why fix it?

Every single sentence in your comment is ridiculous.

djdanster said,
Well the computers desperately need upgrading. My mum works for the NHS and they use Windows 2000

The Space Shuttles used the same computers for over 20 years.

xn--bya said,

The Space Shuttles used the same computers for over 20 years.

True, but the computer's aren't expected to do any more than they did 20 years ago. Computers are required for vastly more tasks in the NHS than they did 10 years ago. That's comparing apples and oranges.

Majesticmerc said,

True, but the computer's aren't expected to do any more than they did 20 years ago. Computers are required for vastly more tasks in the NHS than they did 10 years ago. That's comparing apples and oranges.

You go majestic!

I work in Finance for the NHS, and were still using a 10 year old OS, even tho I ordered a new computer the other week the NHS HIS (IT) wipe everything and install XP on it for some strange reason, I queried this and they said it requires a license... but there's already a license for Windows 7 on the computer. It's the NHS HIS problem, they need to sort themselves out cause they can't be arsed to support anything other than XP.

AshUK said,
I work in Finance for the NHS, and were still using a 10 year old OS, even tho I ordered a new computer the other week the NHS HIS (IT) wipe everything and install XP on it for some strange reason, I queried this and they said it requires a license... but there's already a license for Windows 7 on the computer. It's the NHS HIS problem, they need to sort themselves out cause they can't be arsed to support anything other than XP.

I work for the HIS, and thats just BS. Your organisation dictate what we do, not us. Your trust will have to decide to move onto the next Operating System - If it bothers you that much, take it up with your Director of IT.

Just be grateful that you got a new PC. I do some consulting work for the Finance department of an NHS hospital and we've been fighting to get new PCs for the staff for years now

The whole XP thing is not surprising and you'll find that most corporations do exactly the same thing. Rolling out a new OS to an organisation like a hospital takes time and money and is unlikely to happen until it's absolutely necessary.

AshUK said,
I work in Finance for the NHS, and were still using a 10 year old OS, even tho I ordered a new computer the other week the NHS HIS (IT) wipe everything and install XP on it for some strange reason, I queried this and they said it requires a license... but there's already a license for Windows 7 on the computer. It's the NHS HIS problem, they need to sort themselves out cause they can't be arsed to support anything other than XP.

That's what the NHS do. I'm currently a systems developer for a trust, and we have to put up with Windows XP (with some Win2000 still lurking around), Windows Server 2000/2003, SQL Server 2000, and servers that could be outpaced by Pentium 4s. Yet our board of directors got a 100% pay rise last year.

Our trust's only saving grace is that our enterprise agreements forced us to upgrade to Office 2010 this year, and the IT department finally managed to roll out IE7 across the trust last year.

The funny thing is that at the start of the new financial year, we found out that the Finance department managed to get hold of a 16CPU, 32GB server to basically just run a Microsoft Access database, because they're the one's that hold the purse strings, and can "somehow" afford it.

The NHS is a great healthcare system that works, but it would work so much better if it wasn't rotten to the core.

AshUK said,
even tho I ordered a new computer the other week the NHS HIS (IT) wipe everything and install XP on it for some strange reason, I queried this and they said it requires a license... but there's already a license for Windows 7 on the computer.

And therein lies the problem with Microsoft's Windows 7 licence sales claims. How many machines were bought that came with Windows 7 and were then subsequently overwritten with XP? Microsoft is still counting that as a Windows 7 sale. The same applies to vista upgrades to XP. Makes you wonder what the real figures are.

AshUK said,
*snip*

Can I also just say it's about enterprise licensing and support. Loads of trusts still only have XP licenses from MS and only get support for XP, for you to have W7, they'd need to get trained in how to lock it down and how to support it, which would take a while, and also your license on the side is not valid for a large enterprise either that has a support contract.

AshUK said,
I work in Finance for the NHS, and were still using a 10 year old OS, even tho I ordered a new computer the other week the NHS HIS (IT) wipe everything and install XP on it for some strange reason, I queried this and they said it requires a license... but there's already a license for Windows 7 on the computer. It's the NHS HIS problem, they need to sort themselves out cause they can't be arsed to support anything other than XP.

Odds are, you still use Microsoft Server 2003, and Microsoft Exchange 2003, like we do in the MoD. Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not work with these. And are currently untested by the Government.

Good. its widely known that the last labour government was throwing money away without concern for getting the country a good deal for its money. It makes sense to arrange the best deal possible.

LordBattleBeard said,
Good. its widely known that the last labour government was throwing money away without concern for getting the country a good deal for its money. It makes sense to arrange the best deal possible.

Which means buying all government officials a brand new 27" fully loaded iMac!

stevember said,

Dave is massive Apple fan

And Eric Schmidt is really close to apple...

x=David
y=Eric
z=Apple
(x+y)+(y+z)+(x+z)= do not use Microsoft

FMH said,
Not once is it mentioned in the article what NHS is, or even what it stands for.

It says so in the first 4 words of the article.

FMH said,
Not once is it mentioned in the article what NHS is, or even what it stands for.

You cant find stuff with bing.

stevember said,

Just show what great brand NHS is.

Why would the NHS even be a brand? It's just a convenient abbreviation of the term "National Health Service", which is our healthcare system.

Wanyal said,

It says so in the first 4 words of the article.

kabix said,

You cant find stuff with bing.


halo2k27 said,

Wow fail !


stevember said,

Just show what great brand NHS is.

This was edited by the writer AFTER I posted this!!!! Byron read my comment and edited it!!!!

Edited by FMH, Jul 10 2011, 12:12pm :

FMH said,
And Byron didn't even acknowledge my comment and went on and edited it.....and hence this^

I know, I saw . Really double guessing why I am coming to Neowin anymore..

FMH said,
Not once is it mentioned in the article what NHS is, or even what it stands for.

Fixed earlier (not from your comment but via IM) - for anyone saying you were wrong! Though NHS is common term in the UK i understand why people outside of the UK don't know it

FMH said,
And Byron didn't even acknowledge my comment and went on and edited it.....and hence this^

What do you want, a cookie?

Majesticmerc said,

Why would the NHS even be a brand? It's just a convenient abbreviation of the term "National Health Service", which is our healthcare system.

America's health service is a business lol like everything in america /sarcasm. stupid yank

davelough said,

So your a typical American then.... i.e. the world revolves around us

And that it does. Get over it. You would have almost zero of the modern comforts you do today otherwise. Smart ass.

alexalex said,
Let Microsoft pay NHS for using it's products, like it paid University of Nebraska in order to use Office 365. :-)
To be fair, that was probably Microsoft paying for their transitionary costs. They'll make a lot more back in the long run.

alexalex said,
Let Microsoft pay NHS for using it's products, like it paid University of Nebraska in order to use Office 365. :-)

Or, like how Apple pays nearly every university to use their products, even though most people don't have Apple products outside of universities.