A group of NHS trusts and primary care trusts in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have awarded a new contract to McKesson to continue to provide its CarePlus Child Health software for child health services.

The new three year deal will see up to 12 NHS organisations in the region use CarePlus. The system will provide a shared, secure child health record that can be used by the multiple agencies involved in children’s health, including child mental health services.

In 2007, the NHS in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire recognised that it needed to move to a single, modern child health record across all five health communities, and selected CarePlus from McKesson. Care Plus had been the child health solution offered by local service provider Fujitsu.

However, the project was blown off-track by the May 2008 exit of Fujitsu from the National Programme for IT in the NHS, and the subsequent development of plans for a framework deal. Eventually, in April 2009, a deal was done with BT for parts of the South that include a number of RiO installations.

Although the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire trusts were offered CSE Healthcare’s RiO system, or the chance to potentially get an alternative through any future community ASCC framework deal in the South, they decided to stick with McKesson.

Martin Bell, director of information management and technology at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “We selected McKesson on the basis that they are leading professionals in the design and implementation of child health systems, and have the understanding to help us realise the full benefits of the programme.”

Bell told E-Health Insider that North Bristol, which hosts community child health services, plans to integrate CarePlus to its Cerner acute EPR, when this is implemented at the trust’s new PFI hospital. 

“Come 2011, we will be able to move to a children’s EPR for child health and child mental health services," he said.

“Implementing CarePlus is a huge step in the right direction. The roll-out extends functionality to a wider number of users and extends the child mental health module.”

McKesson describes CarePlus Child Health as a web-based medical information system that provides a full tool-kit of facilities to control the Child Health program either within a single trust, or over a number of trusts or strategic health authorities.

The US company says the software is modular. Key modules are registration and immunisation, while further modules are available that can track children through their pre-school and school health careers, or support special groups such as Child Protection and Sure Start.

Adrian Wookey, VP of service delivery of McKesson UK, said: “McKesson has earned its reputation as a trusted provider of child health solutions to the NHS. We offer a best-of-breed, market-leading product, encompassing key functionality developed through valuable experience gained over the last 13 years.”