Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has awarded a £50m contract to BT as a strategic partner to improve its IT, help to implement a new electronic patient record, and prepare for a move to a new hospital.

The trust went out to tender for a partner to provide IT related “strategic planning, business transformation and consulting services” in May 2013.

The decision to go with BT was announced in a contract award notice in the Official Journal of the European Union in December. The contract is worth up to £50m over ten years.

Alder Hey wants BT to “assist in developing and shaping its future information and communication technology requirements,” the notice says.

The trust, which awarded a contract to FileTek for its Meditech electronic patient record system earlier in 2013, wants BT to support the EPR deployment as well as the opening of the trust’s new hospital in 2015.

The tender notice said the trust was open to a “‘risk and reward’ model, including the possibility of the exploitation of jointly-developed intellectual property.”

It added: “The initial phase of the partnership will be a pilot phase (lasting one to two years) during which development opportunities will be considered and planned.

“The second phase will focus on exploitation of developed products. It is envisaged that the joint venture arrangements will be established for a period of seven to ten years, with a possible break option, exerciseable by either party, at the end of the pilot phase.”

The trust is planning for a move to ‘Alder Hey in the Park’, a new hospital that is being built in the middle of a park to a design inspired by children.

It has said it sees the move as “an unrivalled opportunity to integrate into a brand new facility leading edge technology, the latest medical equipment and the most hi-tech educational/entertainment IT systems.”

When the trust went out to tender, a spokesperson told EHI that the strategic partner will play a key role in developing and delivering this technology.

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