The NHS National Services Scotland, on behalf of NHS Scotland, has issued an OJEU invitation for expressions of interest for systems and services to support the national development of electronic patient records.

NHS Scotland plans to procure a system known as Generic Clinical System (GCS), which will provide a set of tools to facilitate flexible local system development and implementation while enforcing common standards and providing standard interfaces and facilities.

An NHS Scotland source close to the project told E-Health Insider. “The aim is to procure a software toolkit that will enable the development of flexible clinical tools."

The source added that the toolkit is intended to be able to be configured locally. Priority areas will include Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke.  “It will be designed to be tailored to enable local delivery of care."

Asked whether there were specific plans yet to link to the systems being implemented by the NHS National Programme for IT in England, the source said “Not necessarily, no."

The successful supplier(s) will be expected to provide full support for the toolset, including training to allow for internal developments. Suppliers will be expected to demonstrate the full functionality required of GCS, preferably in an NHS environment.  Expertise and experience in developing and implementing clinical IT support will also be expected.

According to the contract notice it is anticipated that the contract may be awarded as a national licence to a single supplier, or as a framework contract with two or more suppliers, that could be used by any organisation in NHS Scotland with support provided by the winning supplier(s). If it let as a framework contract, the contract period will be restricted to four years.

The aim is to complete the procurement process in the “first or second quarter of 2005", with implementation due to begin later in 2005.  The deadline for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 15 September.

Further details are available from the contracting authority: NHS National Services Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, UK-Edinburgh EH12 9EB. Tel.: 0131 275 6631. Fax: 0131 275 75