Solent NHS Trust is looking to spend up to £70m on a new ICT infrastructure and support contract, replacing two health informatics services.

Solent has about 4,300 staff and more than 1.5m patients use its community and mental health services in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton.

According to a tender notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union, it is to spend £40m – £70m (plus VAT) for a seven-year ICT contract covering items such as networks, devices and helpdesks.

Two mutually agreed extensions of 24 months each will be available after the initial term.

The trust’s ICT services are currently provided by Hampshire IT Solutions and Island and Portsmouth Health ICT Service.

“Following a number of service improvement initiatives which did not return the desired outcome, the trust has decided to seek a new external supplier for the future provision of ICT infrastructure services and support,” the tender document says.

“Notice has been served on both of the current ICT service providers, and there is the need for a swift procurement of a new supplier to ensure continuity of ICT services over the next 12 months.”

Andy Eyles, associate director of ICT for the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth PCT Cluster, addedin a statement to eHealth Insider: “As a consequence of the extensive and on-going organisational changes the stakeholders of the current shared IT services have agreed the existing arrangements are no longer appropriate.

"Both shared services and all stakeholders, including Solent NHS Trust, are working closely together to ensure a safe and robust transition of services."

Solent aims to have contracts in place no later than 31 May 2013 with the new supplier or suppliers.

The tender says the trust is looking for a modern ICT service that will support trust objectives, such as more mobile working, and be “sufficiently robust” to cope with estate rationalisation, government funding pressures, and organisational changes.

The new supplier will provide; provision and management of local and wide area networks; storage; computing; desktops, laptops and other end user devices; helpdesk services; and fixed and mobile telephony. Across the trust’s 126 sites, more than 60 need a new WAN facility.

The successful bidder will also be required to demonstrate that they are can increase service provision to additional users by a factor of up to five over the life of the programme.

The procurement project is being run by Channel 3 Consulting. It expects to invite three to five operators to tender and requests to participate must be lodged by 19 November.