Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has chosen Servelec Healthcare as the preferred bidder to implement its RiO electronic patient record system.

The trust will start work on the implementation process in September, with a planned completion date of summer 2016.

Laura Parkinson, interim senior programme manager for the trust, told EHI that Cumbria was one of seven in the North West clinical information systems framework group, launched for mental health trusts in 2011.

However, Parkinson said the trust had opted to run an open OJEU procurement process instead of using the framework, because of the increased responsibilities it had taken on after it was set up.

“I think we felt that when it was set up, it was mainly mental health focussed. But we changed, taking on a lot of children’s and community services from primary care trusts. We doubled and trebled in size, and we needed to reflect that.”

RiO was chosen from a shortlist of three suppliers, with the other two being Emis and Advanced Health and Care, following an evaluation process involving a range of clinicians.

Parkinson said the RiO system was selected as the best option during the evaluation process due to its “maturity” and ability to fit with the trust’s existing applications, which were developed without an overarching strategy.

“We needed a well-established system that had functionality across the breadth of the services we provide… [and] we didn’t want to work with the supplier to develop great big chunks of functionality.”

The system will also improve mobile and remote access for those working in rural areas, thanks to its ‘store and forward’ mobile working solution, which provides users with offline access to cached records.

“Having access to the patient’s records and all the information at the point of care is vital… [Mobile access] was one of our gateway questions.”

Parkinson said the trust is finalising a contract and implementation plan with Servelec, and is establishing a programme board with director-level representation to oversee the implementation process and ensure clinical input.

“They’re supportive of the process but it’s their system and, at the end of the day, we need them to tell us how their services work; so we want to inspire people to be involved.”

The EPR will be rolled out first in children’s services, due to issues with the wide range of applications currently in use and reliance on paper records.

Parkinson said the children’s services go-live will take place in summer 2015, with the mental health module following after.

She said the trust is hoping to complete the roll-out across the whole organisation by summer 2016.