The clinical lead for health informatics at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has said Lorenzo was not ready for release when it went live at the trust in June.

In a panel discussion at a London conference on Tuesday, Sydney Schneidman criticised the iSoft electronic patient record software, which is being implemented at Morecambe by CSC under the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

He said it was unready and unstable. “It’s getting there, but the software that we got was really not ready for release and it was really unstable,” he told the International Conference on the Implementation of Electronic Health Records in London.

“As far as getting clinical benefit from this [goes]; you can’t put additional clinical modules on top of an unstable patient administration system and that’s unfortunately what we are dealing with.”

E-Health Insider has previously reported that the trust has struggled with Lorenzo since it became the first acute site to go live with the latest version, known as Release 1.9. This was the first release to include PAS functionality.

Last month, the trust implemented a stabilisation plan that aims to reduce the extra hours staff are spending on inputting information.

The plan also aims to ensure that Choose and Book appointments are no longer cancelled by Lorenzo and to deal with some more “cosmetic" issues, such as a screen that is meant to let staff record details of a patient’s relatives showing the patient as deceased (see EHI’s analysis: Lorenzo’s toil).

However, sources at Morecambe Bay have told EHI that the problems with the system have led to a serious lack of clinical engagement and to staff reverting to paper processes.

Schneidman told the conference there have been significant difficulties in getting clinicians to interact with the software providers.

However, he added: “I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to help to try and provide the bridge between the clinical world and informatics world and have been reasonably successful with the programme at Morecambe Bay, as far as it has gone.”

He also said the trust was committed to getting the software to work. “We’ll work to get there, but it’s getting through that final developmental phase and getting the build structure right and not breaking things,” he said.

“With every build, it’s almost two steps forward and a step and a half backwards. It’s quite an evolutionary process.”

NHS director general of informatics, Christine Connelly, has said that CSC and iSoft must get Lorenzo working at Morecambe Bay and four other trusts, including a primary care trust and a mental health trust, to receive milestone payments under the NPfIT contract.