The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust plans to spend more than £40m on implementing its Meditech V6.0 electronic patient record system which is causing “persistent serious issues” nine months after go-live.
The trust deployed the EPR in June last year, but has hit consistent problems culminating in an intervention by foundation trust regulator Monitor last month. It stopped all further go-lives of the system late last year.
The trust’s revised business case dated 28 February and obtained by EHI via the Freedom of Information Act, reveals it plans to spend £40m on the implementation.
The Rotherham has spent £21.5m to date including more than £8m on implementation and on-going support costs against a budget of £6.5m, mostly due to a £1.2m over-spend on trainers.
In February, Monitor found the trust in significant breach in terms of authorisation due to financial and operational issues surrounding the EPR.
Failure to successfully implement the system had led to problems booking patient appointments and loss of income.
In a letter to The Rotherham, Monitor said the trust was forecasting a 2012-13 full-year deficit of between £6m and £7.5m, “with the single largest risk being further costs required to fix problems relating to EPR implementation.”
“We are concerned that the trust has not established the full extent of the issues and therefore cost of rectifying the EPR implementation problems,” the letter said.
“The trust has not managed EPR implementation in an effective way and significant operational and financial risks will remain until the trust has a robust and operationally effective EPR system.”
An external EPR expert, Larry Blevins, is undertaking a diagnostic review of the system and related issues at a cost of £25,000 a month.
A trust spokesperson said in a statement to EHI: “As a result of persistent serious issues with the installation of the Meditech EPR including clinician and staff usability, the trust has engaged an independent external EPR expert to review the EPR programme."
The spokesperson added that Blevins had experience in multiple types of implementations including Meditech and was employed for an interim period of up to three months.
He had previously worked as a chief information officer in the US and as chairman of Microsoft Group and the Health Information System Executive Association.
As part of its recovery plan, The Rotherham has also engaged a specialist healthcare management firm, Bolt Partners LLP.
Michael Morgan has replaced Matthew Lowry as interim chief executive after former chief executive, Brian James, retired last year. He was hired along with fellow external consultants Tim Bolot and Joshua Ejdelbaum. The trust is paying £77,000 per month for the three men.
The Rotherham was one of the first trusts to go outside the National Programme for IT in the NHS for an EPR and was the first NHS trust to purchase the latest Meditech system.