Credit: Tom Wolfe / CC BY 2.0

The NHS has signed a £ 30 million deal to support, develop and “disassemble” the digital systems underlying the UK’s coronavirus testing regime.

Recently published commercial information shows that NHS Digital recently signed a contract with Accenture under which a professional heavy service will provide “services for continuous service and continuous development [the] the main platform for testing in connection with the Covid-19 NHS Test and Trace program ”.

The deal was concluded under the fourth Lot of Technology 3, which is designed to enable public sector actors to receive support for “major service transformation programs”.

The contract statement, which states the signing of the deal, states that Accenture will assist in the ongoing “dismantling of the current digital test platform and related services.”

The consulting company is moving from Deloitte as the main provider of support for the platforms in question – although both firms have concluded several other multimillion-dollar deals related to software and business support for the Test and Trace scheme.

In June 2020, Deloitte won a contract through the G-Cloud 11 platform to serve as the NHS’s main partner for “designing digital solutions, building and maintaining a digital platform, ordering portals and mobile applications to support Covid-19 National Test Service”.

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The deal lasted until 2021 and cost the consulting firm more than £ 50 million – as did the next contract, which ran from July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 and through which “continuity of service, transition and exit [services]… includes the provision of services to disaggregate the solution provided by Deloitte, eliminate interdependence and promote the formation of independent services capable of switching to substitute providers ”.

It is unclear when exactly the new contract with Accenture was signed, but from the order form it follows that the engagement came into “retrospective” force on December 13, 2021. The initial term of the transaction will last 25 months and will end on January 12, 2024. The contract can then be extended for two more periods of one year each.

The value of the £ 30 million deal – compared to a total of over £ 100 million spent with Deloitte in less than two years – indicates lower demands on the digital infrastructure that supports Covid’s UK testing program. Since the beginning of last month the government has stopped providing free PCR and side tests to most people across England.

Free testing remains available to people who are in some high-risk environments – such as prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, citizens who want to test themselves or someone else for coronavirus should now buy tests at pharmacies or online.

The contract to support core digital systems for testing mode is part of two deals on CMR software and integration services for UK “tracking and retention” operations won by Accenture in October. The 18-month contracts cost the consulting company £ 18.7 million, whose headquarters were moved from Bermuda to Dublin in 2009.

The two deals run in parallel with two other software development and business services contracts totaling £ 26.5 million and awarded to Deloitte.

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