The new health and social care secretary has ordered national leaders to pause work to move about 15,000 computers on to new IT systems, and to consider a switch to Google software.
Matt Hancock has ordered a review of plans to switch desktop computers used by the Department of Health and Social Care and other arms length bodies to new IT systems, sources familiar with the decision told HSJ.
The arms length bodies include NHS England, NHS Improvement, and the Care Quality Commission.
Mr Hancock has asked officials to carry out the review that will consider whether the department was getting best value for money, and a potential switch to G suite software (Google), as well as other options, HSJ understands.
Responding to questions from HSJ, a DHSC spokesman said: “As you would expect, the new secretary of state will be asking the department to review a number of areas, including the potential for a technology refresh.”
DHSC’s IT desktop services are currently provided by Atos, as part of £75m deal signed in 2012, but that contract is coming to an end. DHSC had been working on a replacement set of systems, many of which would have been provided in-house.
The department’s core software under the Atos contract are mostly Microsoft products and HSJ understands that options being considered before Mr Hancock’s intervention were also based on Microsoft products.
Google software is not widely used by NHS organisations.
Mr Hancock, who moved to DHSC from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport in July, has made technology one of his three “earlier priorities” in the job.
This story was amended on 14 August to reflect new information that Liam Maxwell will no longer be leading the review into IT at DHSC.
Information provided to HSJ