South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has delayed the pilot of its new electronic patient reporting system until July, citing “unforeseen circumstances”.

In February, the trust – along with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust – awarded a £10m contract to Swedish company Ortivus to provide it with an electronic care record service to capture, exchange and report on patient information.

The service will cover up to 1,300 ambulances and 5,000 staff across the two trusts’ service areas.

It will also provide GPs with a copy of any records completed for their patients to help improve care pathways.

The trust board papers for its May meeting say the system was due to be piloted in June, with a full roll-out from February 2015.

However, a trust spokesperson told EHI in a statement that the launch of the EPR has been delayed until July “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

“This complex system involves significant integration and business change.  It is vitally important that we get this right.

“We have detailed plans to fit in with our busy operational schedule.  We are confident that we have made all the right preparations and are looking forward to go live.”

The spokedperson said the trust is not expecting any further delays, and is working with the supplier to ensure a smooth rollout.

The system will be trialled in Milton Keynes, before being rolled out further towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.

The board papers say the new system will bring a range of potential benefits, including “enabling efficient storage, analysis and clinical audit recovery of all emergency incidents” attended by trust staff.

When the contract was announced, a trust spokesperson told EHI the service will give crews access to information at the point of care, reducing unnecessary ambulance journeys and providing crews with increased decision support when treating patients.

It will also allow ambulances to be able to send information electronically to hospitals, GPs and other relevant health care providers.

The contract was initially valued at £19m when a tender was issued in January last year and involved four Southern ambulance trusts.

However, two trusts have since merged and one pulled out of the procurement, which is being funded centrally under the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme.

The Ortivus company website says it has 26 employees in Sweden and the UK and more than 1300 ambulances using its systems.

The contract was initially valued at £19m when a tender was issued in January last year and involved four Southern ambulance trusts.

The SLCS programme is for the 60% of providers in the South that otherwise got nothing from the National Programme for IT. The business case for the ambulance trusts was approved by the DH and Treasury early last year.