Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has selected System C’s Medway PAS and clinical software as the basis for a trust-wide electronic patient record.

The North East trust has signed a seven year contract for the deployment and operation of an EPR that centres on replacing its existing 20-year old PAS with a ‘clinical PAS’ and series of clinical modules that build on its existing systems.

The Medway PAS includes a master patient index, inpatients, outpatients, day care and case note tracking. System C will also provide the Medway A&E system together with an integrated data warehouse and reporting tools.

Integration with existing systems at the trust will be provided through the Medway Connect integration platform and portal, which will deliver integrated messaging, providing clinicians with a single view and update service for the trust-wide patient record.

Initial connections to be made through the portal will be integration of the trust’s existing Sunquest ICE solution for results and order communications.

Future developments include links to primary care and additional clinical modules including theatres, prescribing and care planning.

System C says it will also supply further clinical support tools will allow the trust to design and implement its own screens for collecting clinical information on each patient in support of specific speciality requirements.

The contract awarded by Gateshead Health includes a complete implementation, data migration and integration service, together with support and maintenance. The value of the contract is unknown.

Gateshead faced a pressing need to replace its 20-year old Barwick PAS. EHI understands that System C was selected after a six month OJEU procurement, beating Oasis and Ascribe.

All the leading EPR vendors are believed to have bid for the Gateshead contract.

Gateshead Health employs 3,390 people and has an annual income of £182m. Medway will be used by around 2,500 of its clinical and administrative staff.

The new EPR will underpin the delivery of a full range of local acute services for elective and emergency care across Gateshead, as well as specialist services for people from the wider region.

Lynne Hodgson, director of finance and Information at the trust, said: “We conducted a major evaluation of the market, and System C’s Medway software evaluated significantly better than the other products.

"People really like the modern look and feel of the software, and the fact that it is clearly designed to meet NHS requirements.

She added: “As important, System C’s people really understand healthcare and the priorities and challenges we are facing. We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with them and to realising the benefits the new system will bring.”

The trust’s IM&T strategy makes clear that Gateshead decided it could no longer afford to wait for the long-delayed Lorenzo software from CSC, which it would have been due to receive under the local service provider contracts signed by the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

“NPfIT has not delivered to timeframes originally planned resulting in the role out being scaled back, restricting the number of applications that are now available and reducing the number of sites to which the programme will be delivered," it says.

Dr Ian Denley, chief executive of System C, said: “This contract win is another significant endorsement of the Medway product suite and a tribute to the teams that work so hard developing and deploying our systems.”

System C is currently being acquired by McKesson for £87m. The deal is the first major EPR contract awarded by an NHS foundation trust in the past year and comes as the Department of Health is locked in negotiations with CSC over a new contract for the North, Midlands and East of England.