Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has signed a contract to outsource its ICT services in a seven-year contract worth £5m in its first year.

The trust went out to tender for a new ICT service last year and has now signed a contract with 2e2 that will run from this month to April 2019 and be worth a total of £36.8m. Both organisations say the contract will deliver savings for the trust.

The deal will involve a gradual transition of IT services away from the trust’s current provider, Sussex Health Informatics Service, over the course of this year.

It includes a refresh of and support for the trust’s desktop PCs, laptops, mobile services and printers, and a fully-integrated unified communications system that will allow staff to access trust applications from a range of mobile devices.

The contract also covers an induction and training programme to help staff use the new technologies.

Sussex Partnership chief executive Lisa Rodrigues said the deal was part of a programme to “revolutionise our information and communications technology.”

“This vital programme will make these services fit to support our staff whether they work in hospitals, clinics or patients’ own homes. It will enable our staff to concentrate on what they do best – providing excellent patient care,” she said.

Adam Kamruddin, head of healthcare at 2e2, said the provision of better front and back office processes and more flexible, mobile working solutions would free up time for staff to spend with patients and “deliver real-time savings and return on investment.”

The trust used Channel 3 Consulting to help develop its requirements specification and support it through the OJEU procurement process and commercial negotiations.

Director of IT performance Lee Francis told eHealth Insider that working with consultants saved him some sleepless nights. “They brought to the table best of breed people who live and breathe this stuff,” he said.

“It’s important to line them (consultants) up with appropriate members within your own team to make sure the trust’s ethos, culture and nuances – that you get with absolutely every trust – feed-back to those guys so they can understand the fabric of the organisation.”

Channel 3 director of strategy, Brian Gorman said the Sussex deal signified a clear trend across the healthcare sector as NHS organisations looked for “better quality ICT services, innovation to support new models of service delivery and value for money.”