Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Local hospitals face massive IT bills as government cuts central contracts

Dudley MP Ian Austin has warned that local hospitals could face huge bills when the Government cuts central contracts for IT.

Following the current Government’s decision to scrap a central contract with Microsoft in 2010, individual NHS trusts will soon have to purchase and document software purchases themselves.

Industry experts have warned that NHS trusts are “in Microsoft’s sights” and could face hefty fees if found to be using software they have not paid for.

The news comes after recent reports that jobs are at risk as local hospital Russells Hall tackles a deficit of £12 million.

Austin has written to hospital bosses encouraging them to make sure licenses are in order.

Ian Austin said:

“When me or a member of my family is ill, we queue up at Russells Hall like anybody else in Dudley, so I’m really concerned that the hospital could be hit by further costs.

“Doctors, nurses and other staff are working flat out at Russells Hall but the government have squandered £3 billion on reorganising the NHS instead of supporting front-line staff.

“As a result debts are mounting up at Russells Hall, jobs are at risk and local people are facing longer waits at A&E. The Tories need to get a grip and give local hospitals the resources they need.”

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