Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has issued a European procurement notice for a new patient administration system (PAS) to be supplied outside the scope of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

The NHS foundation trust placed an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union at the end of July for a PAS system and associated maintenance and support services to replace its existing Siemens IRC PAS.

In placing the advert the trust appears to have decided not to take the iSoft PAS system currently being offered to it under the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The short term of the initial contract advertised would indicate though that the trust wishes to keep its options open for the future.

The advert placed by Bradford is for a two year contract “with options for contract extension by negotiated agreement of up to 10 years”. The notice says the new system must be installed and working within seven months, suggesting that Bradford is procuring a replacement PAS to meet an urgent requirement it had previously planned on being met by NPfIT.

Situated in the North-east region of NPfIT the trust’s local service provider (LSP) is Accenture – currently understood to be locked in contractual negotiations with Connecting for Health (CfH) – the agency running NPfIT.

Requirements set out in the advert are for a “Commercial off the shelf system (not a bespoke development)”, and the solution must be “currently deployed in at least three acute hospitals within England”.

The solution sought must meet CfH technical and functional compliance in line with NHS Foundation Trust regulator Monitor’s guidance on cooperating with NPfIT. “In particular the ability to allow patients or NHS professionals to directly book appointments via the Choose and Book service.”

The advert sets a demanding timetable for a supplier to provide a new PAS. It says a supplier must be able to start deployment activities on or before 1 October, 2006 and deploy the system as a live solution on or before 31 March, 2007. Demonstrations at Bradford are called for no later than 1 September 2006.

Suppliers must also be willing to sign up to a range of purchase options “including full capital purchase or revenue-only scheme.”