Plymouth ICT Shared Services is replacing its current integration platform with InterSystems Ensemble, it was announced today.

Plymouth’s director of ICT, Nick Thomas, said, “This investment will enable the community to fully embrace the central integrated solutions provided by the National Programme for IT [NPfIT], while maintaining and enhancing the benefits to clinicians delivered by our local best-of-breed applications.”

Head of technology, Andy Blofield, explained that the trust’s iSoft iPM and iCM would be hosted centrally and other applications would remain local. The local applications number about 16; they include applications for accident and emergency, pathology, oncology and e-prescribing.

Plymouth is one of seven trusts designated under the NPfIT to remain with iSoft even though it is placed geographically in Devon – a county covered by the Fujitsu Alliance’s contract with Cerner.

Blofield explained: “This means we are able to build on the investment we have made in iSoft since 1999.”

He said he was hoping users would see some improvements with the prospect of real time interfaces running more quickly as Ensemble is implemented.

However, the investment is also geared towards the future, providing a system that will meet the Plymouth trusts’ needs three four or five years on.

He said: “InterSystems Ensemble will enable us to work more efficiently to deliver robust, scaleable, maintainable and cost effective integration solutions to our stakeholders. In addition to providing an improved service, by streamlining the development and management processes of our integration architecture, we will have an IT system that’s flexible and scalable enough to support the community in the long-term, while still allowing us to use the most appropriate systems for our needs.”

In addition, the new integration platform has the reputation of being able to support existing interfaces “no matter how old.”

The Plymouth ICT Shared Services team supports over 15,000 users across a large acute trust, a teaching primary care trust and over 50 GP surgeries.

• InterSystems also announced today that Four Points Technology will provide the company’s CACHÉ post-relational database to the US Department of Veterans Affairs to fulfill a $31.4m contract for enterprise software and maintenance services over a one-year period.