E-Health Insider understands that the go-live of Lorenzo at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust is likely to be shifted from the start to the end of May.
The trust failed to hit an end of March deadline to go live with the latest version of the iSoft electronic patient record, set by Department of Health chief information officer Christine Connelly.
The failure to hit the deadline cost CSC a revised local service provider deal with NHS Connecting for Health.
However, Connelly said at the time that she expected “to evaluate a recovery plan in days and weeks” and that she did not want to drop a product only to subsequently find it was “just weeks” from being ready.
ISoft executive chairman and chief executive Gary Cohen subsequently told the Financial Times that “we are very confident that we have a go-live in early May.”
The most likely go-live data at the start of the month was the bank-holiday, 3 May. Many major IT deployments take place over a bank-holiday because hospitals are relatively quiet and not running a full operating schedule.
However, E-Health Insider understands that this date is unlikely to be hit. Instead, sources have indicated that go-live is likely to be scheduled for the following bank-holiday, 31 May.
Deployment of an earlier version of the Lorenzo software was originally scheduled for June 2008; or two years ago. In the end, Morecambe Bay gave a ‘soft launch’ to the first version of Lorenzo in November 2008.
The new go-live relates to the latest version of the software, Lorenzo Regional Care Release 1.9, which is the first version to include a patient administration system.
Formally, NHS Connecting for Health says it is “still in discussion with CSC” about a new date.
The shift would put a go-live outside the period of the general election campaign, when Whitehall departments and public bodies generally observe a period of “purdah” or silence on politically sensitive subjects.
However, it would also put it some weeks after the general election on 6 May.
Polling is still showing a Conservative victory and the Conservative Party has pledged to revisit the National Programme for IT in the NHS contracts, with a view to giving trusts more say over their own IT.
Currently, the iSoft software is due to be installed in hospitals across the North, Midlands and East of England.
However, the number of releases planned has been scaled back from four to two, to meet Treasury demands for savings on the programme.