South London Healthcare NHS Trust will be dissolved by October this year, but its impending closure will not upset plans to deploy Cerner Millennium across its hospital sites.

The electronic patient record system is due to be deployed at its Queen Elizabeth Hospital in April.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today that each of the trust’s hospitals will be taken over by a neighbouring trust, that the "excess" costs of its two private finance initiative projects will be paid, and that its accumulated debts will be written off.

A special administrator was appointed for South London Healthcare last July. Matthew Kershaw recommended splitting the organisation up and moving the management of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust.

Lewisham confirmed Cerner as the preferred supplier of its new electronic patient record system in August last year, but eHealth Insider understands that a contract has not yet been signed.

South London Healthcare announced plans to implement Cerner Millennium across all of its sites in April 2011, building on the use of the system at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, where it was installed in November 2007.

A South London Healthcare spokesperson told eHealth Insider that the implementation of Millennium at its hospitals was unaffected by Hunt’s decision.

"We are continuing to implement the programme in liaison with those organisations who will be taking over the running of SLHT’s services in the future.," he said. 

Some elements of the project have already gone ahead. In November last year, Queen Mary’s patient administration system was upgraded to a newer version and additional Cerner Millennium clinical modules were added.

The trust has also worked with Ascribe to implement the Ensemble integration engine, to interface between Millennium and other key systems, such as its CRIS radiology system.

Patient radiology orders and results information will now be transfered electronically, allowing clinicians to view patient demographic, episode and radiology order and result data together in one place within Millennium.

An Ascribe statement said the next phase of the project will be to deploy order communications interfaces for Pathology when Queen Elizabeth Hospital moves on to Millennium in April 2013.