CSC is unlikely to deliver on the latest remedial plan that is supposed to show how it will complete its delivery of the latest version of Lorenzo to four milestone sites in the North, Midlands and East of England.
A Department of Health spokesperson told eHealth Insider that two remedial plans had been submitted since University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust failed to go-live with the iSoft electronic patient record last March.
The date was set by director general of informatics Christine Connelly as part of a package to show that the major suppliers to the National Programme for IT in the NHS were making significant progress” in the acute sector. When it was missed, she said she wanted a remedial plan in “days and weeks.”
The DH now says an initial remediation plan was submitted in May 2010. CSC managed to keep to the plan, and went live with Lorenzo Release 1.9 at Morecambe Bay in June 2010. A second plan was put in place in October 2010. This allocated dates for another two milestone sites to go-live which, if successful, would trigger a significant payment to CSC.
According to the plan, Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust was due to go-live within weeks of its submission; and it did successfully go-live at the end of October. However, it also said that Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust should go-live next week, on 7 February. The DH has told EHI this is unlikely to happen.
A spokesperson added: “The remediation plan CSC offered included a go-live date of 7 February. CSC has told us that [it is] unlikely to meet that deadline and consequently we are in discussion with them about the way forward.”
In addition, the DH has confirmed that none of the live sites have signed off the deployment verification criteria, which confirm that Lorenzo has met a series of detailed measures agreed by NHS Connecting for Health, CSC and the trust.
Patrick McGahon, director of service and commercial development at Morecambe Bay, told EHI last month that the trust was in the process of agreeing revised deployment verification criteria that reflect the state of the project and lessons learned.
A spokesperson for NHS Bury, the first trust to go live with the system 14 months ago, said: “The deployment verification criteria currently remain the same. We are making progress towards achieving the criteria but, as yet, do not have a date when we expect these to be signed off.”
The DH has been looking to sign a new memorandum of understanding with CSC. However, negotiations are still in progress. Its spokesperson told EHI that although CSC will receive payment when the system goes live at all four early release key milestone sites, “other factors” will need to be considered for the MOU to be signed.
MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, wrote to Connelly and the National Audit Office last month saying that a new deal should not be signed unless CSC can prove it can deliver and that trusts actually want the system.
This week, he reiterated his concerns. “Something needs to be negotiated that, for once, shows benefits to the NHS and to the taxpayer and until then those contracts should not be signed,” he told EHI.