The date for the go-live of Cerner Millennium at Barts and the London NHS Trust (BLT), seen by many as the acid test of BT’s ability to deliver Cerner into a complex London teaching hospital , has been delayed.

E-Health Insider has learned the go-live has been put back from the weekend of 8-9 March until April. Technical go-live was meant to have occurred last weekend.

A spokesperson for the trust told E-Health Insider: "Barts and The London is currently undertaking extensive testing of the new CRS system and plans to go live with the system – Cerner Millennium Release 0 – at the start of April. The trust has been testing the product since we were given access to the system in August 2007 and we are now carrying out the final phase of testing to ensure that it will function effectively with our existing systems."

In a 22 February Commons debate on the Health Select Committee’s report into Electronic Health records, Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said “the next hospital in London will be Barts, which is due in the next two weeks”.

That deadline will now be missed. The initial technical go-live was to have occurred over the weekend 1-2 March. It is now thought to be due in April.

This is the latest in a series of delays to planned go-live at the trust. Most recently, the trust had planned to go live by 8 December and, since deferring on this date, had been working towards 7-10 March.

In the trust’s January board papers, the chief executive’s report states outstanding issues remained with the software as at 30 January. “This includes the ability to statutory reports and the integration of the CRS [Care Records Service] with some of the trust’s existing systems, which will continue to be used.”

E-Health Insider understands that the delays at BLT are already having a knock-on effect on subsequent implementations in London, with the Royal Free now moving back.

Delays and continuing problems with Cerner Millennium are not confined to London.

In the South meanwhile, one senior source said work in the hospital sector “has almost ground to a halt” as contract reset negotiations continue, despite a missed 31 January completion deadline. Bath, the next trust in line to go live, after delays stretching back two years, is not scheduled until May.

As previously reported by EHI this week, both the chief executives of South West SHA and Worthing and Southfields NHS Trust have confirmed NHS staff continue to experience difficulties with the Millennium software provided by Fujitsu.