The director of service and commercial development at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has said Lorenzo is “starting to stabilise” seven months after go-live.

Patrick McGahon told E-Health Insider in a statement that more than 180 fixes to key functionality have taken place over the past six weeks and that fixes would continue until spring 2011.

“Staff who use Lorenzo have seen improvements in general usability across the various areas. The system is now starting to stabilise and improvements are continuing to be seen.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust was the first acute trust to go-live with the latest release of Lorenzo (R1.9) as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

The iSoft electronic patient record system is due to be delivered to the North, Midlands and East of England by local service provider CSC.

Morecambe Bay went live at the end of May. But the system has been unstable and has caused a number of operational problems.

A log of the first 14 weeks of the deployment, seen by EHI, showed these included problems with clerking, appointment booking and ordering tests and procedures.

The trust put a stabilisation plan in place in at the beginning of September. Although McGahon says that two major upgrades have been successful, a letter distributed to members of staff says much basic functionality will not be in place until at least the middle of next year.

For example, it says that the emergency care module, which the trust hoped to have live before the end of this summer, will now not go-live until summer 2011.

The trust will also have to wait at least six months to implement the to-take-out prescribing module and advanced bed management system – subject to national approval.

On the other hand, the trust has been able to implement some changes to make the system easier to use.

Staff have requested a patient summary screen to show them the patient’s journey at a glance, instead of having to move around the system to find information. The informatics department has developed a temporary solution that will sit on top of Lorenzo.

The trust is yet to sign off the deployment verification criteria, which shows full acceptance of the system by the trust.

McGahon added: “We are in the process of agreeing revised deployment verification criteria which are mutually acceptable and reflect the state of the project and lessons learnt post go-live.”

Morecambe Bay and a number of other trusts in the North, Midlands and East must sign off on the system to trigger milestone payments to CSC, which is still negotiating a new deal for the region with the Department of Health.

MP and PAC member Richard Bacon has asked DH director general informatics Christine Connelly and the NAO for assurances that a new deal will be based on accurate numbers of trusts wanting to take Lorenzo.

Figures obtained by EHI suggest that some trusts that have indicated they make take the system are not, in fact, committed to it.