Kevin Jarrold, NHS London’s chief information officer and the London Programme for IT’s regional implementation director, has pledged to have installed 15 acute care records systems by the end of the current financial year.

Speaking at the Smart Healthcare expo, Jarrold said that after a “patchy” start for LPfIT in delivering core systems to acute trusts, the local service provider, BT, was now ready to begin making further progress.

Jarrold said that by the end of the calendar year, a further five systems would be installed – all London Cluster Release 1 Cerner Millennium systems – so ten acute trusts would be live with CRS (including Newham University Hospital and Homerton Hospital NHS trusts, which had systems deployed outside of the national programme).

“Royal Free will go live this weekend,” Jarrold told the expo in London. “This will be followed by St Mary’s Hospital – part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Kingston Hospital NHS Trust, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, and Hammersmith Hospital – which will be the second phase of the Imperial deployment.”

Jarrold also said the BT contract reset to a ‘best of breed’ approach had enabled it to take a “much more pragmatic approach” which has been “a surer way of getting the end result of putting systems in.”

He said that when LPfIT first put this to NHS Connecting for Health, it faced “significant kickbacks” but the focus had yielded results for the LSP.

Looking ahead, Jarrold predicted that by the end of 2008-9, BT will have deployed systems to 29/31 PCTs, 8/10 mental health trusts and 15/32 acute hospitals. He also said 100% of GPs would have systems in place through the GP Systems of Choice initiative.

“All organisations will be encouraged to work with their supplier to drive the quality of the product, as we have with Cerner,” he said. “They will also be in charge of the governance of the system, ensuring that the organisation is in control of the future direction of the products they have taken.

And he added: “We recognise that change impacts the whole organisation. A challenge for us is that IT is not often regarded as an enabler of transformation and change. The real challenge is to get organisations to know that it is. Success can only be seen where IT is embraced, and not just bolted onto the side.”

Jarrold also urged trusts to prepare better for new systems and to concentrate on four steps: preparation before the IT is delivered, managing change effectively, enabling transformation and creating space for new innovation.

“You have to get it right. Check everything,” he said. “Ensure training reflects user needs. Know what you are going to be migrating.

“Once live, there should be ownership from the board level down; it should be clear that this meets the strategic objectives of the organisation, with full support for all users, so that the benefits can be realised.”

Jarrold said BT still has key challenges to face in London, including responding to Healthcare for London plans and interfacing efficiently with social care systems.

He acknowledged that improving the functionality of systems and delivering a shared patient record will also continue to be a challenge, as will the tension between standardisation and localisation.

However, he declined to comment on any plans for BT to take over from Fujitsu as LSP to the NHS Southern Programme for IT.