E-Health Insider has learned that just a month after the publication of the Health Informatics Review, a number of NHS foundation trusts have begun to move to non-National Programme for IT in the NHS solutions.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust have seperately placed advertisements for electronic patient record systems in the the Official Journal of the European Union, rather than go through NHS Connecting for Health’s Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) framework contracts.

Rotherham’s OJEU tender is a ten year contract for a locally configurable, fully fledged electronic patient record. The tender sets the requirement for a high degree of local control.

“The contracting authority will be running the application and storage hardware on the hospital site and will be providing the data centre, first-line helpdesk, desktop and networking infrastructure services," it says.

As previously reported by EHI in June, Royal Berkshire has made clear non-NPfIT alternatives will be examined following the departure of Fujitsu as local service provider in the south of England.

Martin Sheldon, chief finance officer at Royal Berkshire, said in a statement: "Since there is currently no contract for NHS trusts in the Southern Programme, and we need an integrated IT solution in place by September 2009 to support the ‘hub and spoke’ care setting we have planned, we are in the process of seeking a suitable strategic partner to work with us to develop an appropriate solution in line with the national programme."

The EPR tender placed by Royal Berkshire also specifies the need for a full EPR system, over a seven year period, but stresses the need for it to integrate with existing trust systems.

Meanwhile, two further foundation trusts, Harrogate and District and South Tyneside, have put in place new, long-term contracts to support their existing patient administration systems.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust has signed a new five-year support deal for ICS, an existing iSoft patient administration system already in use at the trust that pre-dates NPfIT. The same PAS is thought to be in use at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

Both trusts have Computer Sciences Corporation as their LSP, and are meant to recieve the Lorenzo Care Records Service product when it becomes available. By awarding five-year support deals to iSoft they appear to have pushed back the date at which they might eventually take an NPfIT CRS solution back to 2013.

The South Tyneside trust told EHI that it had not signed a contract extension but “an entirely new contract to provide on-going support to systems the trust current operates.”

The spokesperson stressed that South Tyneside has not opted out of the national programme: “We are not using this system instead of those provided by the National Programme for IT in the NHS. The Trust is fully participating in the NPfIT and has identified slots within the NPfIT Detailed Implementation Plan for implementation of NPfIT systems.”