St Mary’s Hospital, part of London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, has delayed plans to go-live this coming weekend with the Cerner Millennium electronic records system supplied by BT as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

St Mary’s was due to be the first part of the giant trust to implement the London Cluster version of the Cerner Care Records System.

It was to be implemented by BT over the August bank holiday weekend, ready for use by staff on Tuesday, 26 August. Imperial now has no agreed implementation date.

In a statement to E-Health Insider, the trust said: “At their 12 August 2008 meeting, the Imperial CRS Programme Board unanimously agreed to postpone the St Mary’s Hospital CRS go-live originally scheduled for 26 August 2008.”

The statement added: “The trust together with BT and LPfIT are now reviewing detailed work plans to determine the most desirable go-live date with an eye to ensuring a smooth launch for patients and staff at St Mary’s Hospital.”

A statement from the London Programme for IT (LPfIT) said the go-live date for St Mary’s: “is currently being rescheduled.” The statement said BT and LPfIT “are now reviewing detailed work plans to determine a suitable alternative date and to minimise any knock-on effect to the Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals go-lives planned for next year.”

Benefits of the delay were said to include more time for more testing and staff training on the system. The LPfIT statement added: “Go live dates are never set in stone and it more important to get it right than to meet an artificial deadline.”

A trust spokesperson told EHI, “basically we haven’t got a date, it’s something that’s being discussed at the moment”.

As previously reported by EHI the hospital has already had a number of implementation dates pass unmet.

Most recently St Mary’s was meant to go live on 16 July, but decided to postpone until lessons could be learned from the experience of Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust. Prior to the July date, the hospital had been scheduled to go live on 27 May.