Alder Hey Children’s and Liverpool Women’s NHS foundation trusts are to use Perceptive Software’s ImageNow system for a document management project.

The announcement comes weeks after the two trusts, which share IT services, indicated that they are looking to outsource their IT, in one of the biggest acute outsourcing deals to date.

It also comes months after they issued a tender for a full electronic patient record system, saying they needed to replace their Meditech systems, which are coming to the end of their contracts.

ImageNow is a document management, imaging and workflow system. It will allow the trusts to electronically capture a variety of documents using their existing hardware, and also enable collaboration with future clinical portal projects.

“The original remit was to digitise our paperwork to make the trusts more efficient, and provide a better patient experience,” said Dr Zafar Chaudry, chief information officer for the two trusts.

“Perceptive software will provide us with a scalable solution allowing the trusts to grow as required.”

The ICT services tender, placed in the Official Journal of the European Union, says the trusts are looking to enter into a contract with a single provider a wide range of services.

These include a full IT service desk, support for the trusts’ servers, networks, unified communications systems, mobile and hand-held devices, training, standards and IT decommissioning.

Dr Chaudry confirmed that the contract will be worth around £4.5m a year and last for seven years with a possible three year extension – making £31.5m in total.

The tender says they need to improve the speed at which they can access new technologies, whilst increasing the flexibility and scalability of their IT.

It also says they need to prepare for the opening of a new children’s health park, which is being built and is due in 2014.

Between them, the trusts have more than 4,000 staff, with 30 currently employed in ICT and informatics.

The EPR-replacement procurement process is being led by Alder Hey for and on behalf of itself and Liverpool Women’s. However, each of the trusts will enter into separate contracts with the selected provider.

Last August’s tender said the trusts wanted to build on their ‘best of breed’ strategy with a master patient index, modules to help manage referrals and bed management, and a number of integrated departmental systems, including A&E and theatres.

Dr Chaudry told eHealth Insider that: "It is still in the tender process and will complete towards the end of the year."