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A Computer Network Contract For NHS Approved In Scotland

In Scotland,the health minister, Andy Kerr,has announced a computer network for the NHS, that would cost £300 million. //

The contract has been signed with a consortium of IT companies comprising of Atos Origin, BT, IBM, and another IT firm, Sopra Newell & Budge, and will provide the NHS with national computer services for 11 years.

The services include maintenance of patient records, health service payroll and nurse rosters.

The consortium has decided to have 350 people working for the NHS, working from terminals in Paisley, Dundee, Livingston and Edinburgh.

The contract shall be signed at a data centre in Livingston, West Lothian. The centre was set up by Atos, and cost £7m for setting up.It will also be operated by Atos.

Mr Kerr said: "Currently, most health information is stored on paper files that are kept in different places.

"The services provided for in this contract will help prepare for the future and ensure that patient records are stored in a secure electronic environment."

He said the data centre would enable access to patient information throughout the day. In case emergency treatment had to be done by doctors outside their health board area, it would help them to know the patient’s case history and treat accordingly.

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