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NSS to cost $15.9 million

Tuesday, 1 October 2019  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


The projected cost of developing the National Screening Solution, being developed as part of the National Bowel Screening Programme, is $15.9 million.


The Ministry of Health signed with Deloitte in January 2019 for the build and operation of the NSS on Salesforce technology and the system was due to be operational by October this year.


However, roll out of the NSS has since been delayed to March 2020.


By then, 10 of the country’s 20 district health boards will be live with the interim solution BSP+, which is an enhanced version of the system designed for the bowel screening pilot.


In the 2017/18 year, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Waitematā, Southern and Counties Manukau DHBs went live using the interim IT solution.


Delays in developing the NSS reduced the number of DHBs rolling out bowel screening in the past financial year to just Hawke’s Bay, Lakes and Nelson Marlborough.


Whanganui and Mid-Central DHBs were due to go live using the new NSS this October and November, but will now go live with BSP+.


Despite the delay, the Ministry says that all 20 DHBs will be using the NSS by June 2021.


“During the period from when the NSS goes live in March 2020 to June 2021, 10 DHBs will start screening using the NSS in parallel with the 10 DHBs who are already screening transitioning from BSP to the NSS,” a Ministry spokesperson told


Transitioning from the interim IT system to the NSS is not anticipated to create additional costs for DHBs.

“The activity for a DHB to start using BSP is very small. It requires minor configuration to their network to allow users to access the system, which is located in the Ministry’s data centre,” the spokesperson says.

“Users are also trained in how to use the system and operational documentation is provided.”


She says the development of BSP+ has been invaluable in informing what functionality and features need to be built into a fit-for-purpose NSS.


The Ministry could not provide any information related to the cost to date of developing the interim solution BSP+, except that it was anticipated in the approved business cases and the actual spend has been in line with this approval.


“The sector has not been required to make any investment in the Bowel Screening Pilot Solution as it is a web application hosted by the Ministry and available on the Connected Health Network,” the spokesperson says.


Budget 2016 approved $39.3 million over four years to fund the design, planning and set-up phases of the NBSP, as well as contingency capital funding of $15.9 million for the IT development and infrastructure needed for a national programme.


In January 2018, Cabinet approved a drawdown of $2 million to pay for the discovery and design phase of the NSS and Budget 2018 made provision of an additional $13 million for the NSS.


The National Health Index will be used to populate the NSS, for those people who have accessed health services in the past three years.


Once operational, the new NSS will be expanded to support the delivery of other screening programmes, such as the National Cervical Screening Programme.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read more NSS-related news:

National Screening Solution delayed

Deloitte to build NSS on Salesforce tech

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