National Services Scotland has awarded a £2m contract to Caresteam to supply a radiology information system to serve NHS hospitals in Scotland.

The decision was revealed in a contract award notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. The framework will be for four years, with software support provided for a minimum of seven years.

NHS Scotland signed its first national framework agreement with Carestream for a RIS in 1999, and updated the contract in 2006.

In 2011, NHS Western Isles lodged a tender to replace its legacy RIS and establish a framework agreement which other health boards could call off against. According to the OJEU notice, two offers were received to provide the RIS framework.

Other boards in Scotland are already using a Carestream or a HSS RIS. Mark Salveta, head of the business advisory group for National Services Scotland said it preferred to use framework agreements, so that other boards could switch over the next few years if they wanted to.

However, he thought most would stick with their current RIS systems. Carestream is also the provider of the national picture archiving and communication system contract, which will remain in place until 2017.

“The framework is about bridging the gap between now and when we go out to re-procure a PACS system,” said Salveta.

At the same time as procuring a new PACS, National Services Scotland will also procure a new nationwide RIS, he added, and a vendor neutral archive.

“Everybody in NHS Scotland uses the same PACS, but at the moment we have two different RIS systems. Both work perfectly well with PACS, but when we come to renew the PACS contract, we will probably look at the RIS systems at the same time, either as a separate procurement or part of the one procurement.”