The NHS chief information officer leading work on offering acute trusts in the South a choice of IT systems has left the Department of Health for a new job.

John-Jo Campbell, the chief information officer at NHS South Central SHA, had been seconded to the DH’s Informatics Directorate by director general of informatics Christine Connelly.  

E-Health Insider has learned that he is to leave this role to take up a new position as IT director at St George’s Hospital in South West London. As EHI reported earlier this week, the trust is aiming to install an NPfIT version of Cerner Millennium by Christmas.

In his DH role, Campbell was meant to focus on working with trusts to evaluate products currently in the market.

It has been widely assumed that trusts in the South will use the ASCC Framework catalogue.

However, in a recent written answer to a question on the use of ASCC in the South, health minister Mike O’Brien stressed that supplier systems were not "accredited" by ASCC.

"The purpose of the procurement is to create a framework of suppliers with demonstrated capacity and capability in various specialisms," he said.

"Subsequently, on identification of a business need, each trust will specify its particular requirements to suppliers in the most appropriate service category.

"It will be for suppliers to demonstrate how they can meet this need against the procurement’s specific evaluation criteria."

In his replies to shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien, Mike O’Brien said also said that proposals for trusts to use the ASCC will be "subject to appropriate approvals being obtained."

"Part of the process will be to establish the likely overall demand and estimated value of contracts to be awarded," he said, adding that this piece of work has yet to be completed.

In a June interview, Connelly told EHI the Southern ‘procurement’ would cover the 29 acute trusts, 21 community trusts and two mental health trusts left in limbo following the termination of Fujitsu’s LSP deal last May, who were not covered by BT’s £546m deal.

Connelly said she hoped some implementations would happen ahead of the hard November deadline she’d set for NPfIT’s two main software providers, Cerner and iSoft.

She added the core requirements were for existing products that delivered the Clinical 5 capabilities set out in the 2008 Health Informatics Review.

A DH spokesperson told EHI that Campbell’s departure should not slow down the work he was leading. "It is not anticipated that this will adversely impact the procurement timetable."

Sources in the South, however, indicate that progress on acute systems of choice has been considerably slower than hoped for, with questions now being raised about whether sufficient funding could be found for a further procurement.

One unanticipated development that is said to have slowed progress is trusts giving top priority to preparing for a Swine Flu pandemic.