Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is implementing a platform to join up community and mental health systems.

The combined mental health and community trust currently uses four different versions of the RiO patient administration system from CSE Healthcare for mental health services, while community staff use TPP’s SystmOne.

Andrew Haw, the trust’s head of health informatics, told EHI that this means the trust operates in “two vertical silos of patient data” and it has bought the VIPER360 platform to fix that problem.

“There are two main systems in use in the trust. There’s RiO in mental health, which was bought directly by the trust rather than through the National Programme for IT, and in the community they got SystmOne,” he said.

Haw explained that because of the two different systems, community staff are unable to see if the patient has a mental health record and vice versa.

“I listened to staff asking why we don’t just have a single system, and the reason is that each [of the systems] has its own strength and weaknesses and none of them would meet all our requirements,” he said.

“We needed to buy something that would give us a way to let us use both. This development will allow real integration between our systems; the information stored there and ultimately will improve patient care.”

The VIPER360 will provide a joined up view of the systems, with single sign-on and role based access to the trust’s four different versions of RiO, as well as read only access to SystmOne.

It will also give trust users access to its clinical document management system, connectivity to the Medical Interoperability Gateway for access to GP records, and access to other systems.

The trust recently signed the contract with VIPER 360 and is already planning a September go-live.

“We looked at a rapid procurement we are now at the very early stages of implementation,” said Haw.

“We don’t expect to have something to show people until July and we then plan on spending the summer setting the requirements for what the users need, before we plan to go live in September.

“The trust already has an integration engine from Ensemble which is a key part of the portal. The data doesn’t move, it’s just about showing the data and that’s relatively straight forward.”

The first go-live with just include RiO and SystmOne, but Haw said it was keen to move forward with the document management and MIG elements, and access to smaller specialist systems, such as its BOMIC substance misuse management system, and Sunquest ICE for test results.

“If we could get access to the Summary Care Record that would be good, and the spine mini service too, but that’s not an immediate priority at the moment,” said Haw.

In Nottinghamshire, a programme to connect social care and the NHS, called Connected Nottinghamshire will also be looking at a data-sharing project between the organisations.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is part of the project, and Haw is aware that when it properly kicks off, this could mean having to get a different portal eventually.

“That will probably have to go through the standard procurement process though and the programme might not use the same system and we might have to replace what we’ve done,” he said.

The VIPER360 platform is delivered by ReStart Consulting, a healthcare integration supplier and is also in use at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.