St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has become the first community trust in London to leave the BT data centre, after moving to a direct contract for Servelec’s RiO electronic patient record system.

The trust migrated its data from the data centre last December, moving to RiO7 on a hosted service provided by Capita, with 1,000 users.

St George’s opted to sign a direct contract with Servelec Healthcare last July 2014, following a procurement process under the Camden framework. 

Trusts that deployed RiO under the National Programme for IT in the NHS need to exit the BT data centre and their central contracts by October this year.

John-Jo Campbell, the trust’s chief information officer, told EHI News the new contract and system has “built in some additional functionality and flexibility and future-proofing”.

Campbell said the trust is particularly interested in rolling out Servelec’s Store and Forward mobile working solution to allow community nurses to access records and work offline.

He said the move from BT to Servelec was relatively smooth, after the trust and its suppliers worked hard on preparing for the exit.  

“There was a reasonable amount of work for Servelec and the trust and our new hosting partners to undertake – there were a couple of minor issues to deal with, but everything went largely well.”

Campbell said the trust wanted to “get on the first bus” to exit the BT data centre, as one of 35 instances of RiO that needs to be migrated from the existing service to a new arrangement before October.

St George’s is now working with Servelec, Cerner – which provides its acute EPR – and Orion Health in plans for a South West London electronic medical record to view and exchange information between primary care, acute and social care providers in its area.

“We’ve done some of the enabling work, we’re scoping out the first phases of the work and part of that will be porting the RiO clinical data and making it available via the Orion portal.”

Lindsay Dransfield, Servelec Healthcare’s sales director, said the migration was “another important milestone” for both the trust and the company.

“We are currently working to deploy Open RiO to a further 12 mental and community trusts, and St George’s go-live strongly evidences our capability to deliver to our direct customers.”

The trust received foundation status from Monitor this month, changing its name from St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust to St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.