Mental health trusts in London have agreed to work together to develop and share the cost of procuring a new version of CSE Healthcare’s RiO care records system.

Several mental health trusts, including South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, and South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, have agreed to form a consortium and set up a formal agreement between them.

In a report, South West London and St George’s chief executive Judy Wilson notes that the trust’s current contract for RiO, which was supplied under BT’s local service agreement for London as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, is due to expire in 2015.

She writes: “The trust is ready for the next generation of electronic care systems, which may not yet be commercially available.

"In [that] case, the procurement would be to enter into a partnership to develop a system, adding to the lead-in time for implementation. The re-procurement of RiO would therefore need to get underway this year.”

Under the proposed agreement, trusts would be able to choose the same system, share a single database, share the running costs and share the local support costs.

Wilson notes: “The viability of each of these options would be assessed in due course, allowing trusts the freedom to choose the option that met their business requirements.”

The proposed Rio 2015 re-procurement would be led by the London Mental Health Chief Executive’s Group, with support from the London Mental Health Medical Director’s Group and the London Mental Health IM&T Director’s Group.

The chief executives of South West London and St George’s and Oxleas have agreed to be the lead chief executives.

EHI understands that the West London Mental Health NHS Trust may also be involved.

Neither Wilson nor a spokesperson for CSE Healthcare, which makes the RiO system, was available for further comment.