Both Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have chosen Cerner Millennium as their new electronic patient record system.

The deal, confirmed in an OJEU contract award notice, will see the creation of a new standardised IT system across each the neighbouring trusts to provide staff in each location instant access to the digital records of patients and bring the trusts closer to the government’s goal of a ‘paperless’ NHS by 2020.

In a joint statement, the chief executives of both trusts, Clive Kay at Bradford and Owen Williams at Calderdale and Huddersfield, said: “We could have tried to adapt, develop or make do with our ageing system however, this would have been a long and risky journey.  Instead we have chosen a market leading electronic patient record – Cerner Millennium.”

Calderdale and Huddersfield first announced it was tendering for a new EPR in March 2014 in a contract worth £30 million, split by £18 million for Calderdale and Huddersfield and £12 million for Bradford if it opted to join the contract.

A nine-month tender process saw the trusts consider several other EPR systems, including Allscripts, but ultimately decide on Cerner.

The new EPR at Calderdale and Huddersfield will replace an in-house patient administration system that was originally installed in 1985.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals, which installed CSC’s i.PM system in 2007 as part of the National Programme for IT, now intends to move on once the NPfIT contract expires at the beginning of 2016.

NPfIT was launched in the mid-2000s to transform clinical systems across NHS hospitals in the North, Midlands and East, but the programme hit several stumbling blocks, and now a number of trusts that received ‘interim’ systems as part of the programme, including East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Humber NHS Foundation Trust, are considering their options for new contracts.

Calderdale and Huddersfield is ranked 149th out of 154 acute NHS trusts in EHI Intelligence's Clinical Digital Maturity Index, while Bradford is ranked 55th.

Alistair Morris, clinical IT lead at Calderdale and Huddersfield, said: “Patients visiting our hospital or their GP will see a huge difference in the way their care is delivered over the next two years. 

“Everything we do will be electronic – from observations on the ward taken through an iPod, with live monitoring of a patient’s condition so a doctor can review and intervene as soon as is clinically needed, to electronic prescribing in hospital, as well as patients and their GPs being able to see their hospital record at the click of a button and vice versa.”

Paul Southern, clinical IT lead at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts said: “Our patients will see their care handled even more safely and efficiently than at present, with world class systems to support medical treatments and investigations.”

In addition to the benefits of being able to share patient data across both trusts, Bradford Teaching Hospitals and Calderdale and Huddersfield said that working together on a joint contract saved the organisations in excess of £12 million on procurement costs.

The decision to move to a new EPR is timely for Calderdale and Huddersfield, considering it is part of the Calderdale Health and Social Care Economy, one of several multispecialty community providers selected by NHS England to be a vanguard site to lead on new models of care as part of the Five Year Forward View strategy.

Other members of the Calderdale economy are the Calderdale Pennine GP Alliance, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Locala Community Partnerships (NHS) and Voluntary Action Calderdale.

The initial goal of the vanguards is to deliver integration across all services delivering care outside of a hospital setting through a single point of access. Providers will work in joint community-based multi-disciplinary teams in all parts of Calderdale, comprising professionals from social care, primary care, mental health and pharmacy.