The next deployment of Cerner Millennium in London will not occur until the autumn; more than a year after the last go-live in the capital plunged the Royal Free Hampstead Hospital NHS Trust into crisis.

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust had been examining going live by April, but says it is now clear this will not happen until the autumn. Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, which had been due to go-live alongside Kingston, is now looking at alternative options.

The delays to the Cerner Care Records System will result in Kingston’s foundation trust application timetable being delayed, since the trust says this “is dependant upon having deployed and bedded in CRS”.

All NHS hospital trusts are required by the Department of Health to achieve foundation trust status by the end of 2010.

The trust chief executive’s report latest board report states: “Now it is becoming clearer that CRS will not be able to be deployed until the autumn, the trust is not likely to be beginning its application until early in 2010, meanting that becoming a foundation trust will take place in the summer of 2010 at the earliest.”

Royal Free, and Barts and the London NHS Trust before it, experienced significant problems with recording and reporting activity, leading to millions in lost income, after they went live with Cerner Millenium last June.

The problems were so serious that, in October, all CRS deployments in the capital by local service provider BT and NHS London were suspended.

An emergency 90-day programme of remedial work was instituted at the Royal Free by BT and Cerner to fix 22 problems in the software.

In February, the NHS London Acute Programme Board said significant progress had been made on the required fixes and gave the green light to proceed with further implementations of Cerner Millennium. But it is now clear there will be no rapid re-start of the Cerner CRS roll-out programme.

In December, Kingston told EHI that having postponed go-live from November. Delays had already been calculated to cost the trust £500,000 in extra staff time and extending the license of its Clinicom software.

A spokesperson for the trust told E-Health Insider: “Kingston Hospital is fully committed to implementing the Care Records Service.” They added: “We are currently in discussions with NHS London and BT to agree a new implementation date, which is likely to now be in the autumn of 2009.”

The trust board paper say: “Plans are now being worked up with BT and NHS London to agree a new go-live date for Kingston, which should be agreed at the Acute Programme board at the end of February. The generic approach will now include more robust measures and health-checks to ensure that trusts are ready to go live.”

EHI has learned that the February deadline passed unmet and the trust has yet to agree a new deployment date. Any future date is understood to be dependant on limited deployment resources becoming available.

In addition, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, a hospital run by NHS Wandsworth, is now re-examining its options. EHI has learned the hospital is now considering takling the RiO community electronic record system offered by BT.