East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust are jointly procuring an electronic patient record system in a contract worth £10m – £40m.

An OJEU notice says Lot 1 includes a patient administration system, order communications, A&E and clinical documentation, while lot 2 is a maternity administration system.

Both are to be delivered on a “managed services basis” for ten years, with a possible two-year extension.

The tender is worth between £10m – £40m for the Kent collaboration. The group is part of the wider South Acute Programme, involving 23 trusts which got nothing through the National Programme for IT.

Together, they have attracted £80m in central funding for investments in health IT and more than £100m will be invested locally.

The Kent trusts hope to choose a preferred supplier by mid-2014. Each will award separate contracts to the same suppliers.

Roll-out of the various modules will be done in phases over 18 months to two years and the trusts will discuss with their supplier how this could be done simultaneously.

Clinicians helped to develop the specifications of the systems and will be involved in supplier testing and deciding which system to buy.

East Kent Hospitals clinical lead for informatics Dr Chris Farmer said: "This collaboration represents a huge step forward in improving IT provision and developing closer integration of IT systems for the benefit of patients across Kent."

Requests to participate in the procurement must be received by 2 January 2014. A minimum of six suppliers are expected to be shortlisted to participate.

The acute programme was one of four that made up the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme, which also included ‘community and child health’, ‘integration’ and ‘ambulance’.

The government has signed off a £32m business case for nine providers in the community and child health programme to purchase TPP’s SystmOne and they have started to deploy.

Trusts in the ambulance programme have identified a preferred bidder and are expecting to commence deployment in the first quarter of next year and the integration programme has been scrapped.