A tender notice has been issued for a patient administration system and electronic patient record system for nine London trusts.
The estimated value of the tender, issued in the Official Journal of the European Union, is between £250m and £400m.
EHealth Insider believes this makes it the largest collaborative procurement for healthcare IT outside the National Programme for IT in the NHS.
The trusts involved are: Barts and the London; Croydon Healthcare; Imperial College Healthcare; Kingston Healthcare; Newham University Hospital; Royal Free Hampstead; South London Healthcare; St George’s Healthcare; and Whipps Cross University Hospital.
The agreement will also be made available to all London procurement programme member trusts.
The tender notice says the trusts are looking to collaboratively procure a PAS/EPR solution (software and services), a clinical portal solution (software and services), and hosting services.
“The PAS/EPR solution will cover a full range of administrative and clinical functional modules required by the trusts, for ‘day 1’ service provision, and throughout the lifetime of the agreement,” the tender says.
“The clinical portal solution will provide a highly configurable and secure mechanism to allow clinical end users (both within and beyond the trust), and patients to interact with relevant trust data, without the need for them to access directly the trust’s back-end solutions.”
As well as software provision, suppliers will be required to include licensing and maintenance, deployment services, and application support and the technical support to configure the solution to meet trust needs.
“The hosting service will provide a robust, secure and flexible infrastructure to support the current and future needs of the trust in relation to the running of the PAS/EPR solution, the clinical portal solution, and may be extended to support other trust solutions,” the notice adds.
Bids are invited for individual lots, all lots or a combination of lots. Potential tenderers should register a notice of interest by 23 March with a minimum of three and maximum six operators invited to tender or participate.
The EHI Intelligence NHS Trust database shows the vast majority of these trusts are already using or will soon be using the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record system, as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS.
Barts and the London, Kingston Healthcare, Newham University Hospital, South London Healthcare, St George’s Healthcare and Royal Free Hampstead trusts have Cerner Millennium deployed, with contracts due to expire in 2014 and 2015.
Imperial College Healthcare is in the process of implementing Cerner Millennium, while Whipps Cross University Hospital (which is currently using McKesson Totalcare) is in advanced discussions to merge with two other Millennium sites – Barts and the London and Newham University Hospital.
Croydon Healthcare NHS Trust is using iSoft patient centre. However, parts of the Croydon trust look set to be the next implementers of the Cerner Millennium system.
A spokesperson for Cerner said: “It is likely that there will be a number of procurement routes that trusts can use to meet their own specific needs, and we will review each on a case-by-case basis.
"Nevertheless, it’s important that we have the procurement planning for the end of the NPfIT contracts in place.
"We very much welcome the opportunity to continue working in partnership with our clients across London in order to deliver the high-quality information and data needed for safe, efficient and first-class care to local people throughout the capital.”
In a statement, BT said: "As one of the leading suppliers of IT and communications services to the NHS, BT is committed to delivering a broad suite of innovative solutions and will be exploring this opportunity.
"The health sector is a key market for BT and we are extremely proud of our long term partnership with the NHS which now extends for more than 60 years.
We look forward to continuing to develop our relationships and partnerships with the NHS and delivering the right solutions to help the NHS with their business challenges."