NHS North London IT team take DIY action over 2e2 services
Trust IT staff reject call to pay £4k to continue services and act to create in-house solution
In-house IT staff at the NHS North Central London cluster of primacy care trusts have created their own in-house solution to maintain services put at risk by the collapse of system integrator 2e2.
It followed the receipt of a letter from the joint administrators, FTI Consulting, in which 2e2 customers were asked to make payments of from £4,000 to £40,000 to keep services running.
After issuing a letter terminating the 2e2 contract 'with immediate effect' and after refusing to pay the £4k fee demanded, NHS North Central London's IT team led by David Thomas, director of the ICT North and East London Commissioning Support Unit swung into action.
According to a spokesperson for the cluster of Trusts, within hours of hearing the news from 2e2's administrators, "NHS North Central London's IT team had reviewed its options and, with HR support, had met with the affected 2e2 staff. Temporary contracts were offered to the ex-2e2 staff needed to ensure continuity of IT services across North Central London as well as providing interim employment for some of the affected staff. In under 24 hours, the North Central London in-house solution, including an operational internal help desk, was up and running.
The NHS North Central London cluster consists of five of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) which are Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington. Together it serves a combined population of around 1.27 million.
In their letter, the joint administrators said:
"The joint administrators have provided a substantial amount of funding to the Companies, in order to ensure that....customers continued to receive services in the ordinary course. This funding has been used to meet certain arrears of wages and on-going salary costs, as well as to support the underlying infrastructure of the business. During this period, we have also engaged extensively with a number of parties who had expressed an interest in acquiring all or parts of the business as a going concern.
"Regrettably, despite these efforts, we have been unable to secure an acceptable and deliverable offer to sell the business as a going concern and there is no further funding which can be made available.
"Consequently, the Companies will no longer be able to continue to fund and operate the following areas of the UK business:
1. Flexible Resourcing;
2. Business Applications;
3. Unified Communications; and
4. Field Support
"As a result, the personnel associated with these areas of the UK business have regrettably been made redundant and the Companies are no longer able to continue to provide these services to you.
"We understand that you are currently a customer of one of the Companies and are significantly affected by these events, as many of the services provided by the Companies may be critical to the operations of your business.
"Prior to Friday 15 February 2013 we will present to Data Centre Customers the proposed strategy and timeline to transition customer data and the funding requirements to do so.
"Whilst we have requested the largest 20 Data Centre Customers to contribute to the majority of the Data Centre costs for the period Wednesday 6 February 2013 to Friday 15 February 2013, we are also seeking a standard payment of £4k plus VAT from you and all other smaller Data Centre Customers. Data Centre costs are based on an estimate of the employee costs, utilities, carriers, rent, rates, administration and other central expenses (including a provision for the Administrators' costs and legal expenses). The total estimated funding requirement through to Friday 15 February 2013 is £960k. "
In a statement explaining the administrators' action, Simon Granger, Joint Administrator, said, "We recognise that the company provides business critical services to a large number of private companies and public bodies who rely upon 2e2. Our priority is to ensure that 2e2 has sufficient funding to keep the data centres operational in order that we can continue to provide these services and support the customer base. We have received overwhelming support from customers following the Administration and we are actively engaged in discussions to both reassure customers and deliver a rapid solution."