Ealing Hospital and North West London Hospitals NHS Trusts have joined their Silverlink patient administration systems ahead of their planned merger.

The two trusts, which plan to merge in July this year, have developed a common IT strategy to standardise and integrate their IT systems.

Ealing was running the legacy McKesson Totalcare PAS, for which the support contract expires in March, and decided to take the Silverlink PAS already in use at North West London.

Kevin Connolly, the trusts’ joint director of informatics, said the new system went live at the beginning of the month and means they now have a shared database with a single point of access for hospital staff across the two trusts.

“The project itself was a major undertaking, but we are delighted that it has been successfully delivered, on time and to budget,” he said.

“The migration involved transferring EHT’s users, data and interfaces from the legacy McKesson Totalcare PAS to the Silverlink iCS PAS, as used by NWLHT.”

The joint system covers 3.6m records for patients across the boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Harrow, as well as patients from around the country who use the trusts’ tertiary services.

The interface migration was done via a jointly procured InterSystems Ensemble integration engine.

Ealing Hospital has used Stalis to lead on data migration and provision of an archive solution for all of the data currently held on the Totalcare PAS.

The shared database means that the trusts can further “accelerate the integration of other joint clinical systems in 2014”, a statement on the migration says. This includes A&E systems, radiology, bed management and order communications and results reporting.

The trusts both have expiring Picture Archiving and Communications Systems and Radiology Information System contracts in 2014-2015 and are procuring a joint replacement system.

Ealing and North West London hope the merger will happen in July. The project, called ‘stronger together’, first submitted a business case to the NHS Trust Development Authority in October 2012, but it was not approved. 

After revising the clinical model and financial planning, the trust submitted a revised full business case in November last year which is undergoing detailed assessment.