NHS trusts running the legacy McKesson Totalcare patient administration system have been warned they must move off the hosted service before the system’s data centres close in February next year.
The caution comes as Medway NHS Foundation Trust, one of the trusts still using the Totalcare PAS, has raised the risk level for its implementation of its new Oasis PAS, which is set for early February.
The Department of Health signed a deal with McKesson to support 26 trusts running either the Totalcare or Star patient administration systems in 2010, as it became clear that delays to the National Programme for IT were mounting.
The support contact extension was due to expire in March this year, but the company agreed to provide “limited support” for trusts moving to its Medway PAS.
In September, Markus Bolton, the joint chief executive of System C – which now holds the majority of McKesson’s UK healthcare software operations – told EHI the company was also helping “a small number of clients” who were unable to move off Totalcare to third-party systems by the deadline.
However, System C has now confirmed the two data centres that host its legacy systems will be closing at the end of February.
A spokesperson said there are two remaining Totalcare sites moving to System C’s own Medway PAS before the end of the year, with three sites moving to third party systems “in the new year”.
“It is worth noting that alternative ways forward were offered earlier this year, but were deemed unnecessary by the trusts concerned,” the spokesperson said.
In the corporate risk register for the Medway trust’s September meeting, the risk level of the PAS migration affecting business continuity has been raised to 20 out of 25, double its previous level of ten.
Citing the “potential loss of key patient data that affects patient safety, appointments and trust income”, the register said the trust has undertaken an external assurance process to ensure it is ready and appointed a project steering board to oversee the implementation.
The trust was due to go-live in March this year, but postponed the deployment to next February after it received an extension of the support contract.
A Medway spokesperson said the trust raised the risk level for the PAS implementation “as a matter of good practice” to ensure robust monitoring of progress and to recognise the critical preparation phase prior to implementation.
The spokesperson said the trust has recruited a new health informatics director with experience of PAS implementations, and also has ongoing support from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust has had discussions with System C to ensure deadlines are met and the transition does not impact patient safety, and is confident that robust measures are in place to monitor progress towards the go-live.
The other two trusts moving from Totalcare onto third-party systems are Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which is moving to CSC’s Lorenzo, and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is moving to Ascribe’s CaMIS.
A Doncaster and Bassetlaw spokesperson told EHI the trust does not use the hosted service, and runs the Totalcare PAS on servers at the Doncaster Hospital site.
The spokesperson said the trust is working on the configuration of its new PAS and is carrying out additional work, including testing and reporting, to get the best result from the implementation.
Once the trust’s support contract for Totalcare ends in March, it will put in place “local measures… with understood and manageable risks” until it implements the new PAS, expected to be in mid-2015.
A Barnsley spokesperson said the trust “wouldn’t be able to provide a statement at this time.” It had previously indicated it would be moving to its new Lorenzo EPR this autumn.