Northgate Managed Services has won a deal worth more than £6m to deliver, implement and manage a clinical portal for a third of Scotland’s health boards over the next five years.

The company will work in partnership with Carefx to deploy the portal built on its Fusionfx platform across NHS Lothian, NHS Fife, NHS Borders and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

The win follows moves by Scotland’s health boards to split into three regional consortia to explore the most effective way to use clinical portals in their area.

A spokesperson for NHS National Services Scotland said that the portal will be rolled out across all the boards at the same time over the next year, with “go-live dates very close together”.

The spokesperson added: “The portal will provide access by the different boards to information held by the different boards with appropriate security safeguards in place.”

In addition, it will mean trusts no longer have to retrieve information from a number of disparate system and paper records, since there will be streamlined access from a single browser.

Graham Gault, head of IM&T at NHS Dumfries and Galloway, who led the first consortium, said: “Northgate Managed Services and Carefx have provided a prototype for the consortium.

"This has proved that it can integrate with the different systems used across the four health boards. It can also provide clinicians with a single view of the patient across each of the regions, and real-time patient information, with the utmost accuracy.”

NHS NSS said the consortia carried out extensive research into clinical portals which found that they had the potential to provide a cost effective and efficient way to reduce costs and patient administration.

Northgate says that most of the requirements outlined in a survey of more than 3,240 clinicians as part of the research will be met.

These include past medical history, current problems and medications, allergies and alerts, treatment plans, clinical letters, results and observations.

Wayne Parslow, vice president and general manager EMEA, Carefx, said: “There are clear advantages in opting for a solution which brings together the information from existing systems rather than scrapping them and undertaking huge projects to install new ones.

“This is all the more true when a system like ours can achieve what healthcare workers want by delivering dynamic and personalised patient data in an instant, wherever they are.”

EHI understands that the portal will provide a front end that accesses the SCI store for summary information. This will be mostly GP shared information but it is also is able to get more detailed information from PMS and other national systems such as PACs.

NHS NSS invested in a national patient management system from InterSystems at the end of 2009.

However, Alan Hyslop, head of eHealth strategy for the Scottish Government, told eHealth Insider at the end of last year that he doubted there would be one single clinical portal for the whole of Scotland.