Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust is tendering for a hospital information system to replace its patient administration system and provide integrated A&E and e-prescribing functionality.

The trust stressed that it regarded the HIS as an ‘interim’ solution but said that it could “no longer afford to wait until Lorenzo reaches a capability beyond where [the trust is] now, which is expected to be at least four years away.”

Lorenzo is the electronic patient record system from iSoft that is being implemented by CSC in the North, Midlands and East of England under the National Programme for IT in the NHS. So far, it is in limited use in just one acute trust, Morecambe Bay.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh is tendering for a system that will enable all the independent solutions it has implemented over a number of years to “talk to each other in a unified way.”

Stephen Dobson, head of IM&T at the trust, told E-Health Insider: “We want an integrated PAS, A&E and e-prescribing system, but we also want a solid backbone that can be easily expanded out at later stages to provide an integrated, context driven system with reduced integration overheads via integration engines.

“We may also want to expand to theatres, maternity, order communications and medical records and we want someone who can creatively integrate with out communications systems and our EPR system.”

The system will replace the trust’s 20-year-old iSoft Clinicom PAS. It will also replace its existing Ascribe stock control and medicines management system with a full e-prescribing system, which Dobson believes will enhance patient safety. However, the trust intends to keep its current EPR system.

Martyn Smith, production and modernisation manager at the trust, told EHI: “We have a mature EPR based on Orion Concerto and have spent a number of years building it into a mature clinical support system. We will continue our journey of using XML to put data into that portal.

“What we are really looking at is the system that sits underneath that where our vision is to have a seamless coherent view of all the patients under the trust’s care rather than hold it in silos.”

Dobson said he continued to believe in the principles behind Lorenzo, but the trust had to act because of the many uncertainties around its delivery.

“Given the current government discussions on reducing the Lorenzo budget, the possible change of government, and past record on delivery and roll out timetables, together with uncertainty over exact functionality in each release, we can’t be confident of Lorenzo delivering everything we need,” he said.

The trust says the tender notice has led to more than 20 companies providing an expression of interest with “all the big players involved.”


It hopes to choose a supplier and sign the contract within the next two to three months and begin roll-out in Q2-3 of 2010. It declined to say how much the contract is likely to be worth, but indicated it would be “a significant amount” for a deal that would last five to ten years.