Fears over future of NHS IT giant
Atos logo on building.

The BBC has reported that secret documents show a scramble to safeguard critical public services from the potential collapse of tech giant Atos, which works with billions of pounds worth of government contracts.

Files seen by the BBC show work has been under way with consultants since January, aiming to limit “severe implications” to essential services by lining up alternative IT providers.

The UK government outsources IT services, including for NHS records and disability benefits, to the French IT giant's UK arm, which admitted being more than £3bn in debt in April and is now undergoing financial restructuring.

The risk assessments, first reported by i news, external, show the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Justice hired consultants PwC to review the company, described as "in financial distress."

Atos has invoiced the government for contracts worth about £6bn since 2016 and currently has more than 40 government contracts worth nearly £1bn.

The firm is involved in IT systems at the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office, including NHS health records in hospitals, disability benefit assessments for personal independents payments (PIP) and tax refunds from His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).