The first of thirty community and mental health trusts in London and the South has picked a preferred supplier to replace its national RiO contract, which expires in 2015.

West London Mental Health Trust has chosen CSE Healthcare to deliver its RiO electronic patient record system to the trust’s 25 locations.

Thirty trusts, which had RiO delivered by BT under the National Programme for IT, formed a consortium and went to tender for a framework agreement in June last year.

Nine suppliers are on the new framework worth up to £300m to supply EPRs, hosting and clinical portals to the trusts, which need to replace their systems before their national contracts expire in October 2015.

Peter Gooch, chair of the ‘2015 Consortium’, and associate director of ICT at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, said West London is the first to pick a preferred supplier and the majority will make decisions on which system to migrate to next year.

“I would anticipate 3 -6 trusts by March-April with the majority in the months following throughout 2014,” he told EHI.

He added that Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has joined the consortium and three or four other organisations are also considering joining.

A statement from West London says seven suppliers were invited to bid for the replacement contract in a process that began in May 2013. This resulted in four finalists, from which CSE was selected.

The evaluation included a mini-competition assessing each supplier on its ability to meet the specified brief, which is particular to the trust’s needs, and included a comprehensive demonstration to staff following a mental health patient journey and a financial evaluation.

“Getting the right patient record system in mental health care is critical – it has to have the strength and flexibility to cope with the great volume of case notes mental health care generates as well as maintain the strictest confidentiality for patients in our care, whether they are in local services or in any of our secure care settings,” said Nick Broughton, trust medical director.

“We started the process of selecting a provider by first listening to our staff and this system is what they told us they wanted because it is easy to use, reliable and ultimately supports them caring for their patients,” he added.

“We are committed to investing in new health information technology to ensure vital patient information is readily available to everyone who needs to see it, when they need to see it so that each of us can make a meaningful contribution to better patient care and recovery.”