Cambridge starts hunt for a new EPR

  • 18 October 2010

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will go outside of the National Programme for IT in the NHS when procuring an electronic patient record early next year.

The trust has committed £280,000 to developing a specification for the hospital wide IT system, following an announcement by the Department of Health that trusts will be free to select their own system, rather than taking an NPfIT-supplied system, namely Cerner’s Millennium or iSoft’s Lorenzo.

Chief executive of the hospital, Gareth Goodier told the Cambridge News that the trust is right to steer clear of the now defunct national programme.

He added: “There was a common perception that the national programme has cost a lot and not delivered much.”

The move will come when the trust relocates its Papworth Hospital to join Cambridge University Hospitals on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the support and licensing for the trust’s current iSoft i.Express patient administration system expires in 2014.

Frances Cousins, director of information systems & analysis at Cambridge University Hospitals, told E-Health Insider: "Cross-hospital working between the two trusts is already common, and is likely to increase after their move.

"It makes sense for us to work together to replace elements of our core application architecture and create a comprehensive electronic patient record for both organisations.”

The trust said it will complete the outline business case and output specification for the system by April 2011 so that it can then move to inviting expressions of interest.

Cousins added: "We are still considering all options that are likely to be able to meet our requirements – that will include NPfIT, if the supplier wants to be involved.

Earlier this year, trusts across the North, Midlands and East were sent letters by their strategic health authorities asking whether they still wanted to implement iSoft’s Lorenzo following the failure of local service provider, CSC, to deliver it on time at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Based on those responses, the Department of Health announced last month that trusts would now be allowed to adopt a more localised approach to implementing IT systems and be able to choose their own supplier without facing penalties. However, CSC will still be given a quota of trusts that will take Lorenzo.

The SHAs have so far been unable to provide information to EHI on how many trusts have committed to taking Lorenzo.

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