The National Heath Service (NHS) has refuted claims that plans to draw up an alternative software supplier list are a sign of any decision to dump current systems.

The Guardian this week reported the Connecting for Health programme to modernise and centralise NHS IT has taken steps to offset the ongoing worries about the viability of its main clinical software contractor, iSoft and difficulties integrating patient administration software from US firm, Cerner.

The list was designed as back up in case “things should go wrong,” programme head, Richard Granger said late last year. iSoft and Cerner are sub-contracted to the project by the systems integrators handling the project, including CSC.

But an NHS spokesperson refuted the allegations that NHS Trusts were looking for wider options because of stalled software upgrades, difficult implementations and supplier uncertainty, saying: "This is about additional capacity, not an alternative supplier list."