A primary care trust has been forced to abandon its planned move to a Connecting for Health community patient administration system after problems with the migration left staff working from paper records for ten days.

An e-mail seen by EHI Primary Care reveals that Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth PCT in Staffordshire faced insurmountable problems migrating from its existing community PAS, PiMS, to the Lorenzo system from its local service provider CSC Alliance.

Douglas McLay, director of health informatics at South Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Trust, wrote to team members on Friday to confirm that the planned migration had been halted.

The e-mail says: “The PCT has been operating on paper records for nearly ten days, and their clinical managers were understandably unwilling to allow us to continue with the process, and decided last night that the PCT should go back onto PiMS.”

McLay says in his e-mail that problems had arisen with migration of some of the PCT’s data from PiMS onto Lorenzo and with the configuration of the Lorenzo system.

He adds: “Staff from both the HIS [health informatics service] and CSC have worked long and hard over the changeover weekend until last night to try and rectify the issues, so that BLT could go live. Unfortunately although we have identified the cause of the problems, and understand the extent of it, we were not able too resolve the issues in time to enable BLT to convert.”

In a statement to EHI Primary Care Burntwood Lichfield and Tamworth PCT confirmed that the trust has postponed the go live date for the PAS system due to problems with data migration to Lorenzo.

The statement adds: “However the PCT is working closely with the strategic health authority, cluster and private sector partners to reconvene the date as soon as possible. This situation is only related to the BLT implementation and affects or involves no other PCT or any other part of the programme. “

McLay says in his e-mail that “this is a big disappointment for everyone concerned” but acknowledges the hard work put in by staff and says lessons will be learnt to plan for future migrations in the cluster as well as to achieve the implementation of Lorenzo for Burntwood Lichfield and Tamworth PCT “before too long”.

The e-mail also says the migration was one of the most complex in the cluster and McLay says team members should celebrate their “significant success” with East Staffordshire PCT.

According to a report to the South Staffordshire and Shropshire SHA board meeting in September the target go live date for the community PAS in south Staffordshire was 7 November.

A spokesperson for NHS Connecting for Health also confirmed to EHI Primary Care that the decision to defer implementation of the PAS in Burntwood Lichfield and Tamworth PCT was taken due to data migration issues.

He added: "The PCT is currently working closely with its local service provider, the CSC Alliance, to ensure migration issues are resolved and a new implementation date can be finalised.

"This is the only trust in the North West and West Midlands Cluster where these issues have prevented a new PAS system going live as scheduled."