Wednesday, 4 November 2009

NHS IT procurements in the South set for January

(By Tola Sargeant, Wednesday 4 November, 09:30) Having painted a gloomy picture of the world of NHS IT over the last couple of weeks in our previous post (see November NHS IT deadline draws near for BT and CSC), there was a flurry of more positive announcements yesterday. The most significant news for our readers is that the series of procurements of healthcare IT systems for the South of England are due to take place in January 2010 using the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) framework (see also NHS IT Localisation: A world of opportunity?). The procurements, which could be worth as much as £1b to suppliers, are likely to cover patient administration systems and a range of clinical and departmental systems. They are desperately needed to fill the void left by Fujtisu, which had its contract with the National Programme for IT in the NHS (NPfIT) terminated in April 2008.

In another positive step, the Department of Health has spelt out the criteria against which Local Service Providers BT and CSC will be judged come the end of November deadline for progress on the deployment of their patient record systems under the £12b NPfIT (see here for more detail). Don’t hold your breath come the end of November though – there is likely to be plenty of internal debate over whether the criteria have been met and we’re unlikely to get a decision before 2010. On a related note, industry newsletter E-Health Insider reports that NHS Bury has finally gone live with its implementation of iSoft’s Lorenzo (Release 1.9). The deployment is a vital step on CSC’s road to meeting its ‘success criteria’ and the LSP will be hoping all goes smoothly over the next few weeks as the system beds in.

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