Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has issued a £50m tender for a strategic IT partner and will implement Meditech v6.0.

The ICT tender says the trust wants a partner to provide “strategic planning, business transformation and consulting services in relation to the trust’s ICT strategy."

The contract, worth £50m over ten years, will involve an initial pilot phase lasting one or two years to plan "development opportunities." The second phase will focus on “exploitation of developed products.”

Either party can break the contract at the end of the pilot phase. The trust has also awarded a contract to FileTek for its electronic patient record system. Alder Hey runs an older version of Meditech and will upgrade to v6.0.

A trust spokesperson told EHI that the trust wanted a strategic partner to support the EPR deployment.

“By sharing best practice and lessons learned from involvement in similar systems, the strategic partner is also expected to support and add value to the implementation of this system,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that Alder Hey is aiming to become a hospital with leading edge technology and its strategic partner will  play a key role in developing and delivering these systems.

“This tender provides an excellent opportunity to tap into the expertise of the commercial sector while capitalising on the trust’s current clinical skills, knowledge and capabilities.

“The aim will be to create a model of working that is mutually beneficial to both Alder Hey and its chosen partner.”

The trust hopes the relationship with the partner will be a joint venture. The tender notice says it “may be based on a ‘risk and reward’ model including the possibility of exploitation of jointly-developed intellectual property.”

Alder Hey was previously part of a joint tender for ICT services with Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust in 2012, but put out an OJEU notice in March this year saying it was discontinuing the tender.

The trust spokesperson said that the two trusts realised last December that their IT strategies were very different and that a joint tender would not be useful.

“The imminent opening of the new hospital in 2015, along with an urgent need to update the hospital’s electronic patient record system are leading priorities for Alder Hey and are at the forefront of its strategy,” said the spokesperson.

“It was mutually agreed for the trusts to concentrate and prioritise their own strategies while still collaborating on particular initiatives when appropriate.”

According to EHI Intelligence, the contract for the trust’s current EPR is due to expire this year.

The Meditech v6.0 EPR has recently been under close scrutiny after The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust faced several operational issues with the system following deployment in June last year.

The Rotherham is trying to “re-work” the system and is likely to implement TPP’s SystmOne in A&E.