A group of three Southern acute trusts has gone out to tender for an electronic document management system and a clinical portal.

The five-year contract will have an option to extend for a further three years and is worth £5m – £12m.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and Queen Victoria NHS Foundation Trust have gone to tender as the SAcP Sussex Collaborative Programme

They make up one of six collaborative groups of acute trusts in the south, formed to invest in a variety of new IT systems.

The 23 trusts involved got nothing from the National Programme for IT and together have secured £80m in central funding for the new systems, with another £100m due to be invested locally.

The tender says that each of the Sussex trusts is looking to procure a managed service for the provision of an electronic document management system and a clinical portal and each will award separate but similar contracts to the selected supplier or suppliers.

“Additional services that may be required include, but are not limited to, professional services, the development and management of business processes associated with the management of clinical records and, potentially, integration of the solutions with national NHS systems.”

The Sussex collaboration initially wanted to procure e-prescribing, clinical documentation, order communications and an integrated clinical portal, but later decided to focus on purchasing an EDM system and a clinical portal.

Western Sussex deputy director of informatics Simon Sturgeon told EHI in January that the trusts expected to free up a lot of clinical and administrative time, making important efficiency and financial savings with the new systems.

The short term aim was to connect the portal with each trust’s patient administration system, picture archiving and communications system and radiology information system. Ultimately, it would connect to the majority of the major clinical systems they use.

“This is definitely a stepping stone towards full EPR-style functionality – it gives clinicians a common look and feel across a wide range of patient information while still allowing them to use best-of-breed departmental solutions,” said Sturgeon.

The three trusts involved have a history or working together through the Sussex IM&T board – which looks at strategic IM&T issues across the county – and on the Surrey and Sussex PACs, RIS and VNA procurement.

Requests to participate in the tender process are due by 31 January 2014.