Milton Keynes General Hospital has become the fifth NHS hospital trust in the South of England to go live with a Cerner patient administration system supplied by local service provider Fujitsu as part of the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT.

In addition to the acute trust the system has gone live into community hospitals of Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust, the first step to making a shared care records system available across the local health community which serves a population of 230,000.

After a number of missed deadlines in 2006 the trust switched to the release zero, also termed the ‘foundation release’, Cerner Millennium system this weekend, replacing a 20-year old PAS system which was nearing the end of its useful life.

As well as a new PAS, the Release Zero version of Cerner Millennium CRS includes a new A&E system. It also includes a clinicals module which allows doctors and nurses to record medical problems and procedures directly into the electronic patient record.

Data migration from the old PAS to the CRS is said to have gone smoothly. The CRS was put live across the 460-bed acute hospital and community sites.

"It is still very early days and there are the expected issues as staff get used to a new system. This is a big project and there will inevitably be some operational impact and we are geared up to cope with this," Mark Norwood IT director of Milton Keynes general hospital told E-Health Insider.

System performance will now be monitored closely monitored by the trusts and LSP, to pick up any resolve any post go-live issues.

Milton Keynes is one the largest trusts in the South of England to take a new PAS system, intended to provide the basis for the development of integrated NHS Care Records. It is the fifth NHS hospital trust to go live with Cerner’s Millennium, following Winchester, Mid and South Bucks, Weston and Nuffield Orthopaedic.

The Milton Keynes implementation is said to have benefited from the experience gained from these initial sites. Problems at early sites have included issues with meeting statutory reporting requirements, data quality and migration including migrating future appointment slots leading to wait targets being missed, and the system becoming unavailable. Fujitsu and Cerner have said that much work has been done to address these issues.

In a joint statement Fujitsu and the two trusts said: "Milton Keynes General Hospital and the community hospitals of Milton Keynes PCT successfully went live with the foundation of the NHS Care Records Service system over the weekend of 24 and 25 February."

The statement continued: "The NHS CRS, deployed in partnership with Fujitsu Services, went live on Saturday morning and early reports indicate that during and immediately after transition there was minimal disruption to the smooth running of the hospitals. Milton Keynes was able to benefit from the experience of Mid Hampshire which went live just two weeks’ earlier."

Milton Keynes had previously been due to go live on 14 August but postponed it until October due to problems with the version of Cerner Millennium being offered by Fujitsu.

EHI reported on 6 October that the trust had again postponed implementation with just three days notice due to software glitches and did not give the go-ahead for a deployment to take place until earlier in February