The Department of Health has given Atos Origin a two year extension on its five year contract for the NHS electronic booking system, Choose and Book.

Atos, with its partner Cerner developed and runs the service, which is allows patients to choose which hospitals they are treated in and book appointments online or on the phone.

The company says that more than half of hospital referrals are now made using the system, which was first introduced in July 2004, more than 11.9 million patients have already benefited from the system.

However, last month the president of the Royal College of Surgeons slammed Choose and Book, which is a cornerstone of the £12.7 billion NHS National Programme for IT.

John Black said Choose and Book, “purports to offer greater patient choice but ... has had the opposite effect”.

Related articles:

NHS National Programme for IT