Health IT firm CSW Group Ltd, the owners of CSW Health, the Oxford-based specialist in XML-based software applications, has been placed into administration.
The development leaves the future support of a system used by ten London primary care trusts to monitor child vaccinations unclear. It also appears to throw a spanner into plans to develop an Individual Health Record in Wales.
On Friday, the administrators of CSW placed an advert in the Financial Times stating that the company is in administration and seeking potential buyers.
CSW was contracted by BT, the local service provider for London, to develop the Child Health Interim Application (CHIA), to bridge a gap between one child health system being withdrawn and a strategic solution being ready.
It will be required until the PCTs that use it can be migrated to the RiO community system. This will not happen until next year.
BT, the local service provider for London, told E-Health Insider that it had been in contact with “both the current CSW management team and also with the administrators and will maintain dialogue daily during this period of uncertainty.”
The company added: “BT’s intent is to safeguard the support we currently receive from CSW for the services we provide for the London LSP Programme and we have conveyed that to LPfIT and the administrators.”
Problems arising from use of CHIA were first reported by PCTs in 2006, leading to falls in immunisation rates in some parts of London.
Earlier this month, EHI Primary Care reported that three PCTs in the capital had logged CHIA as a risk. The Health Protection Agency has also reported problems with supply of childhood immunisation data from PCTs.
The problems at CSW also raises doubts about the already late-running IHA project in Wales.
In a statement to E-Health Insider, the Welsh NHS IT agency, Informing Healthcare, said it had been advised that CSW, its contractor for the record project in North West and South West Wales, is now in administration.
“This is a regrettable situation and disappointing to all those involved in this project. We acknowledge the commitment made by CSW to the project and the external circumstances that have led to this situation. We would also like to acknowledge the hard work put in by the staff in the NHS communities so far.”
Informing Healthcare said it was now looking at its options: “We are now are actively looking at other options to complete the project, which remains a top priority for Informing Healthcare.”
CSW is best known for its Case Notes electronic health record product. Elements of the software are incorporated into the National Programme for IT in the NHS Summary Care Record and into other key services of the NHS Spine.
In 2007, CSW was named SME Organisation of the Year at the British Computer Society IT Awards.
Last year, Tower Hamlets Care Community won the BT e-Health Insider Awards Community and Mental Health Care ICT Team of the Year, for its implementation of an electronic single assessment process system supplied by BT and CSW.
Over the past few years CSW had grown rapidly and won business in the US and in fields beyond healthcare.