University College London NHS Foundation Trust has delayed trust-wide implementation of its Carecast electronic patient record system from IDX by another three weeks. This latest delay in implementation means that there is now almost no slack in the timetable for implementing the new EPR system in time for the move to the brand new ‘paperless’ £422 million University College Hospital on Euston Road.

The system was due to have gone live over the bank holiday weekend – the latest deadline in a series since the original go-live date for an earlier IDX Lastword last summer.

The move to the prestigious new University College Hospital – the largest NHS PFI project in London – is due to begin in June with the major patient transfers in July and August.

Under a £70m contract signed between IDX and UCLH in September 2003, the supplier was due to install its Lastword system in July or August last year – up to eight months before UCLH admitted its first patients to its new hospital.

However, delays have mounted since the trust took the decision, following contract signing, to switch to IDX’s new Carecast EPR product – with UCLH becoming the first UK implementation – rather than the proven Lastword EPR system it had originally ordered.

By March 2005 implementation had been delayed four times. Interviewed by EHI that month UCLH’s chief executive Robert Naylor said that the timetable was for the initial patient administration system component of Carecast to be live across the trust by the end of April, ready for the Euston Road opening at the end of May.

UCLH told E-Health Insider, however, that the decision to delay by three weeks will have minimal disruption to UCLH staff and patients and "will not impact" on the Euston Road hospital move.

In a statement the trust said: "The UCLH EPR project board has confirmed that the IDX Carecast System is now ready for implementation across the trust. However, a decision has been made to defer the operational date to the weekend of 18/19 June 2005 to allow for further testing of the commissioning software."

The commissioning software within the system is vital for ensuring that UCLH gets paid for referrals from primary care trusts around the country.


UCLH said that due to its position as a foundation trust operating within the world of Payment By Results it was vital to ensure that all aspects of the commissioning software have been thoroughly tested.

The trust also stressed that the delay would also provide extra time to test the extremely complex EPR system from end-to-end. UCLH stressed that in preparation for the Carecast EPR, IDX and its contractors had already successfully completed the network infrastructure for the new University College Hospital including one of the largest wireless networks in Europe, implemented a new theatre management system across five Trust sites and installed thousands of PCs and peripherals.