The Department of Health has refused to comment on reports that former national IT programme contractor Fujitsu is considering suing over the business it lost when its contract was terminated in March.

An NHS Connecting for Health spokesman said a confidentiality agreement prevented the DH from discussing the claims, made in national newspapers. But he said: “CfH and [the] strategic health authorities are working closely with Fujitsu to ensure a smooth transition to future arrangements for trusts in the south of England.”

Failing project

He said the IT programme was demonstrating “steady progress”. But Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “Fujitsu’s£700m legal action is yet more evidence of a failing project which has caused enormous frustration and exacerbation for doctors and hospital staff.”

Speculation on a potential claim came as Royal Free Hampstead trust board meeting minutes revealed the trust is considering a compensation claim against its IT suppliers after “bugs” in the system created clinical coding problems that could affect income.