Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is planning a November go-live for its Medway patient administration system, more than 18 months after its original planned date.

When the trust signed the contract for the system from System C in 2011, it set an April 2013 go-live date; before realising it needed to do further work. At this point, it put the go-live date back to October 2013.

 The trust was then put into special measures by foundation trust regulator Monitor, following a CQC inspection at which allegations were made that its cancer waiting lists had been manipulated.

This led to further delays in the Medway go-live; although the trust has been working to install a cancer system as part of its turn-around plans.

The PAS will work as a platform on which the trust can develop an electronic patient record system, and will work as a clinical portal “through which clinical staff access patient information”. 

A spokesperson from the trust told EHI that it plans to replace its legacy McKesson PAS, bedweb and theatre web systems, starting on 28 November.

“The implementation of System C’s Medway PAS, including A&E, theatres and maternity modules over this weekend will provide the foundation upon which to build the portal strategy,” said the spokesperson.

“In early 2015, the trust is expecting to launch full order communications, BigHand digital dictation integration and begin the scanning of paper-based health records into an electronic document management system.”

Colchester is still in special measures. However, it has already implemented the Somerset Cancer Information System, which it bought in 2010, but had not implemented before the cancer waits problem came to light.

In order to make sure that the upcoming PAS go-live goes well, the trust commissioned a specialist IT consultancy to produce a report on the deployment work.

The consultancy will also “undertake an intermediate assessment of the path to implementation” over the trust’s dress rehearsal weekend in the beginning of next month. 

A spokesperson from System C said it is working closely with the trust to make sure the deployment goes well.

“The trust is in the final stage preparations for their go-live and this is one of the busiest times of any deployment.

"Staff training is continuing, and the focus is now on table top exercises, cutover rehearsals and the refining of the new standard operating procedures,” said a spokesperson.

“Any PAS/EPR deployment is a massive undertaking for a hospital. However, the trust and System C have forged an excellent working relationship and we working as closely as possible ahead of the go-live.”