The head of the London Programme for IT has admitted that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to deploying Cerner Millennium was a “mistake”.

Speaking at E-Health Insider Live ’09, Kevin Jarrold said a “significantly different” approach was being taken at Kingston Hospital and St George’s Hospital NHS trusts, which are due to go live “this month” and “in the weeks after that” respectively.

“We have learned that one size fits all, big bang is not the solution,” he said. “We have moved to an incremental approach that lets us tailor the solution to fit particular requirements and a modular approach to deployment.”

Speaking alongside Jarrold, Don Trigg, managing director of Cerner UK, contended that the 60 products that fitted within the Millennium architecture were well fitted to this approach.

He said customers internationally had often taken one product for one department and then rolled it out more widely. He said Cerner had 17 NHS trusts using one or more Millennium product, and that it had 29,000 unique users across those 17 organisations.

Jarrold said that while the acute sector had proved challenging, the London programme had achieved significant success with RiO, which is now in use by all but one of the capital’s 31 primary care trust, and eight out of ten of its mental health trusts.

He said future challenges included supporting the changes envisaged by the ‘polysystem’ model set out in Lord Darzi’s review of the London NHS. This will see care re-centred on polyclinics, with acute hospital re-organisations to follow.

To support the changes, he indicated there might be a London-wide deployment of the NHS Summary Care Record, despite earlier indications that a London version might be developed.

“The SCR has more functionality than anticipated, so we are looking at that,” he said in response to a question from GP Mary Hawking about how information would be shared between new organisations.