Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has briefly delayed plans to go-live with a pilot of iSoft’s electronic prescribing system.

News of the delay comes as a nurse has been released on bail for allegedly tampering with paper prescriptions at the trust’s Stepping Hill Hospital.

Victorino Chua, 46, was further arrested over the weekend on the suspicion of the murder of three patients, and causing grievous bodily harm to 18 others.

It is understood he altered the details of medications on documents somewhere along the hospital’s prescribing process, which is currently a pen-and-paper based system.

The trust is planning to convert from the paper-prescription process to iSoft’s electronic prescription and medicines administration (ePMA) system.

It is the third in line to go-live with the system, following on from Pennine Acute and Leicester trusts, which both went live at the end of last year.

The trust signed a £2.1m contract for the continued use of its iSoft’s patient administration system (iPM) in May last year, as well as the implementation of ePMA.

It initially expected to have the system go live in both the gastroenterology and elderly wards at Stepping Hill Hospital next month.

But the trust’s assistant director of information, Ian Curr, told eHealth Insider the go-live date is now set for mid-March.

The introduction will be subject to a pilot phase during April, which will be used to decide how the system should be rolled out further across the trust.

Curr said the new electronic prescribing system will require clinicians to log-on to the system through the trust’s intranet, which will be accessed through Imprivata’s single sign-on.

The trust is working to implement single sign-on and is planning to use smartcards to give each clinician identified and unique access to its systems.

Greater Manchester police have said Chua was bailed on both the suspicion of tampering with medical records, murder and grievous bodily harm until an unconfirmed date in April. Police are carrying out further enquiries.