Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust have shelved the implementation of a new Patient Administration System from iSoft, provided by Accenture under the NHS National Programme for IT.

The trust suspended implementation efforts due to lack of confidence in the ability of iSoft and local service provider (LSP) Accenture to deliver the system "within an acceptable timetable", and because it did not believe the software was yet sufficiently developed to meet the trust’s requirements.

A spokesperson for NHS Connecting for Health told E-Health Insider: "NHS Connecting for Health understands the trust and the LSP have mutually agreed to postpone the deployment while further development work is undertaken."

iSoft’s iPM PAS system, is being offered as the first release of its Lorenzo clinical software solution that has been centrally procured for hospital trusts in three of the five clusters of the £6.2 billion NHS National Programme for IT.

Beginning with patient administration the Lorenzo solution is due to have clinical functionality added in subsequent software releases. The first of these additions, P1R2, which will enable order communications and reporting continues to be delayed.

Instead of implementing the NPfIT system the trust said it will for the time being work with its existing McKesson PAS system, which has been in use at the new Norfolk and Norwich hospital since it opened in 2001.

"The trust has decided to suspend implementation of the iSoft PAS under the NHS National Programme for IT," Andrew Stronach, director of communications at the trust told E-Health Insider.

Explaining the trust board’s decision two weeks ago, Stronach said. "Collectively we weren’t confident we could get delivery in the timetable in which we needed."

The communications director told E-Health Insider that although the trust had been looking to a March 2006 ‘go live’, there "wasn’t a launch date as such because the timetable kept changing".

In addition to problems over delivery delays the trust said it did not believe the iSoft system was yet ready to be deployed. "The complexity of our processes wasn’t reflected by the system, there remains a lot of work to be done," said Stronach.

He added that because the patient administration system was "critical for the trust" it would continue to work with its existing PAS system. "We have an existing McKesson PAS system which we are now working on and will try to connect to the spine."

A spokesperson for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridegshire strategic health authority said the decision to suspend the project "is an individual trust decision, all other CfH projects are continuing in NSC SHA".

Stronach stressed that although the extensive work the trust has already done on business change and planning in preparation for taking the iSoft system would be put on hold, it would not be wasted.

In a statement to E-Health Insider the trust said: "In late November we suspended our project to implement a new patient administration system. We remain very much committed to the Connecting for Health programme, the work done on the project has been invaluable and will be retained until such time that we reactivate the project. This will happen when we can be confident of a software delivery date for the new PAS."

An Accenture spokesperson added: "Following joint discussions with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust it has been mutually agreed to postpone the joint work we have been undertaking to implement a new patient administration system. We will continue to develop NNUH’s system and expect to pick up the valuable work that has been done to date and complete the deployment successfully when specific development work has been completed.”