Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust has signed a one-year, £520,000 deal with IBM to extend support for its hospital information system.

The extension will take the contract with IBM to manage the TDS patient administration system into its seventeenth year.

The trust was meant to have received a replacement Cerner Millennium system as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS earlier this year.

However, the planned implemenetation had to be abandoned in June after Fujitsu had its contract as local service provider for the South of England terminated.

Implementation of Millennium at Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust had been subject to repeated delays, having first been scheduled for March 2006. As a result, the trust has had to repeatedly extend the contract for support of its existing information system.

Martyn Howard-Evans, from the trust’s purchasing department, said: “Having the comfort of knowing that our organisation is being supported by the world’s largest provider of IT infrastructure is a real comfort.

"It removes the day to day worry of running of crucial IT systems, and let’s us focus on what we do best – front-line patient care.”

Adrian Hill, IBM NHS client manager, said: “This system, hosted as a secure facility, provides the industry’s highest levels of reliability and availability, essential to supporting a hospital.”