An investigation by E-Health Insider has found that two-thirds of the 22 NHS acute trusts that were meant to be receiving a replacement patient administration system by the end of October say they will not hit the target.
In late June NHS Connecting for Health and its local service providers told Richard Bacon MP, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, that 22 trusts would get replacement PAS systems by the end of October. Two months later, just seven of the trusts named have told EHI they believe the target will be hit.
Of the four acute trusts that Accenture – the LPS in the North-east and Eastern clusters – said it would provide new PAS systems to by the end of October, only Ipswich said it was still working towards its date.
The CSC Alliance, LSP for the North-west and West Midlands Cluster, said in June they planned to deliver six iSoft iPM systems by October. Two have gone since live.
BT, the LSP for London, said in June that they would implement new systems in three trusts in London, but did not specify which. EHI has been unable to include these in its investigation.
Fujitsu, LSP for the Southern cluster, planned to deliver 12 new Cerner Millennium systems by the end of October. EHI has spoken with all but one of these trusts. Only three said they were confident of hitting the target, with most expecting delays of at least a month or more.
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre were the first NHS trust in the Southern cluster to go live with the Millennium software, in December 2005. In July Weston Area Health NHS Trust became the first trust in the South to implement Millennium since.
A spokesman for the trust said that there had been “initial teething issues with the clinic templates, which resulted in some patients being booked into slots that are not available, or had already been booked into”, but this had since been fixed.
Rob Baird, director of finance for the Milton Keynes General NHS Trust told EHI that following implementation problems at Weston, most trusts awaiting further tests on the software to be completed.
“The date for our implementation has been moved from 14 August to mid September to allow more time for end to end testing of the Cerner software and to integrate the lessons learnt from the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre last year and Weston’s implementation at the end of July,” said Baird.
A representative of Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said it too would be delayed in going live for the same reasons. Bath Royal Hospital and the Mid Hants PCT also told EHI that they will go live in September.
Elsewhere in the South, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare trust said they now expected to go live between September and October and Kent & Medway have delayed implementation by two months to the end of October.
Worthing and South West Hospitals have delayed their implementation by a fortnight to 2 November, while North Devon will go live three weeks late on 18 November. A spokesperson for South Devon told EHI: “We presently anticipate a go-live date early in the New Year.”
Despite the implementation delays, the trusts were generally positive about eventually going live with the Cerner software, provided by Fujitsu.
The CSC Alliance, LSP for the North-west and West Midlands Cluster, said in June they planned to deliver six iSoft iPM systems by October.
Two of these have happended: The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust has gone live throughout the hospital, while North Cheshire Hospitals’ Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Outpatient Departments went live this week, with the whole site due to follow go-live next February, if the system is successful.
However, East Lancashire, South Manchester University Hospital and Southport and Ormskirk, all expressed concerns at the current state of iSoft when EHI contacted them to see if systems were still due to go live, and have all reported board meetings to discuss implementation plans.
South Manchester University Hospital told EHI that it was having problems with the software: “We have experienced a number of technical problems with the proposed new PAS which has led to the trust believing that it will not be ready for the 9 October, as previously stated. A number of completion errors have hindered the plans for this hospital, and the board has now decide that the new PAS will not be installed or go live until December at the earliest now.”
A later statement issued by the trust to E-Health Insider added that while 90% of the criteria had been achieved, the three issues were the delay in the Fleming version of the system, the need for resources to install hardware and the need to specify additional work with interface suppliers.
Similar concerns were expressed by Rob Bellingham, director of planning and IT at East Lancashire, who said: “We are currently conducting a review of our options for the implementation of the new PAS and a decision will be made by the Trust Board in due course.”
Jason Newman, information manager at Southport and Ormskirk told EHI: “We have had strategy and development meetings ahead of the proposed implementation of a new PAS on 10 September, but due to a number of concerns with regards to the software and the technology itself, we will not meet the go-live date and I cannot give you a new go-live date.”
In the two Accenture clusters, four trusts were named as going live by the end of October.
First reported by EHI on 16 August, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has abandoned plans to implement the CFH version of iSoft’s iPM PAS system.
EHI has this week learned that Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, which was due to go live on 31 July, has not received a new system. The trust told EHI the date had not been met and a spokesperson told EHI there was “no new go-live date planned at the moment”.
Airedale NHS Trust which was due to go live at the end of August also says the date has not been met. Mark Hutchinson, director of IT and projects said: “We continue to work with Accenture to implement a replacement PAS system through the National Project for IT. There are a small number of outstanding issues but we are working hard with Accenture to resolve them.”
The only acute trust in the Accenture clusters that confirmed it was still working towards the October target was Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.
Reporting by Jon Hoeksma and Joe Fernandez