The Treasury has given the go-ahead for the Department of Health to restart the procurement of community and child health systems in the South of England.

The procurement using the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) catalogue will be backed by funding from existing National Programme for IT in the NHS funds. It is hoped deployment will start from spring 2011.

A DH spokesperson confirmed that the procurement “will be funded”, but said the amount of funding was subject to “ commercial confidentiality”.

Three ASCC procurements in the South – for community and child health, acute and ambulance systems – were put on ice in April, ahead of the UK general election. Community and child health was the furthest advanced.

Recommencing the procurements was contingent on the projects receiving the go-ahead from the cross-government major programmes review. This now appears to have been secured, partly in order to help deliver the government’s Transforming Community Services agenda.

In August, EHI reported that concerted efforts were underway to restart the procurements, beginning with community and child health.

This week, a DH spokesperson said: “The ASCC procurement of community and child health information systems in the South is moving ahead.

"This will support trusts in the South of England to better provide front-line services that put patients’ needs at the heart of community services.

"It will also provide support for trusts to achieve the Transforming Community Services agenda, a key element of the NHS Operating Framework.”

The spokesperson added the procurement “is a good example of the ‘connect all’ model, providing NHS trusts with greater flexibility and choice around their information requirements whilst maintaining some of the economies of scale and ensuring value for money."

According to the spokesperson, the procurement will be owned and led by the local NHS. “Trusts will be able to select a system that best meets their need from a range of proven information solutions."