North Bristol NHS Trust has become the first NHS trust to sign to take the Lorenzo electronic patient record system from CSC in an open procurement.

Bristol will also become the first trust in the South of England to take Lorenzo, which will be delivered on a hosted software-as-a-service model. 

All previous Lorenzo installations have been nationally procured and in the North Midlands and East regions of what was the National Programme for IT.  

In a further first, Bristol will also become the first NHS trust to replace its Cerner Millennium EPR with Lorenzo.

The win is a significant milestone for CSC, which will deliver a cloud-hosted version of Lorenzo, from a secure UK data centre.

Dr Chris Burton, North Bristol’s medical director, said that following an extensive procurement exercise, Lorenzo “offered the most scope for future development while at the same time being extremely cost competitive.”

“We also have significant ambitions, and we were impressed with the vision and appetite CSC showed for working with us to build a truly world-class approach to patient care,” he said.

In 2003, CSC was contracted to deliver Lorenzo to almost all trusts in the North, Midlands and East of England under a £3 billion deal as part of NPfIT. But over the next decade, software development was repeatedly delayed and deployments went far more slowly than planned. 

After extremely protracted re-negotiations, the Department of Health and CSC signed a revised deal in September 2012, cutting over £1 billion from the contact value and dramatically reducing the scope of delivery.

The revised deal removed the company’s exclusive right to supply systems to the region, but offered trusts that still want to take Lorenzo central funding for deployment and service costs. So far, nine trusts have signed up to take the system under the revised deal.

However, in an interview with EHI in April this year, Philippe Houssiau, CSC’s UK healthcare managing director, said the company is looking to win contracts outside the central deal and deploying the system “on the merit of the system itself.” 

Commenting on the win at North Bristol, Houssiau said in a press release: “The central agreement only covers part of the market, so it is great news to be announcing North Bristol as the first trust to take Lorenzo outside the agreement, demonstrating the broad applicability of the product.

“We are proud to see the product becoming established as a leading next-generation electronic patient record solution for the UK healthcare system.”

North Bristol received the Cerner Millennium EPR as part of the national programme, but the trust’s current contract expires in 2015.  

The trust had severe problems following its Cerner implementation in 2011, triggering a series of issues in outpatients and theatres, including patients being booked into non-existent appointment slots and appointment letters not being sent.

Subsequently the trust commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to do an independent review of the deployment.

The management consultants concluded that the trust went live with Millennium before the outpatient or theatre builds were complete, sparking a “crisis” that took five months and £4.6m to resolve.

In May last year, the trust went out to tender for an EPR, including a patient administration system, A&E, theatres and clinical documentation functionality from a single supplier.

The trusts live with Lorenzo as a result of NPfIT are: Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust; Humber NHS Foundation Trust, and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust; with some limited implementations at other organisations.

The trusts that have signed to take the system under the revised national deal, are: Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust; George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust; Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust; Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust; Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

CSC hopes to make further announcements on wins outside of the national contract over the coming months.