South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is leading a consortium of trusts and healthcare organisations looking to procure an electronic prescribing and medicines administration system worth up to £4 million.

An OJEU tender notice says South Devon is acting as the lead on behalf of a consortium including South Devon Health and Care NHS Trust, Torbay and South Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, Devon Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Devon Doctors Limited, and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

It says the EPMA solution “must directly contribute to improvements in patient care, for example by providing comprehensive decision support based on information provided by a medication safety database to support the creation and management of prescriptions and the recording of medicine administration”.

The supplier must also provide functionality to support cross-community use of the EPMA solution covering mental health, acute and community hospitals, community healthcare workers and emergency staff.

They must also allow for integration and interoperation with other systems, such as for primary care and pharmacy, “as fully as national and local regulation and the technical capacity of those systems permits”.

The contract will run for 10 years with an option to exit after five, and will cover implementation, maintenance and ongoing support with an estimated value between £2.5 million and £4 million.

Dr Jo Roberts, South Devon and Torbay CCG’s clinical lead for innovation, said in a newsletter covering the EPMA project href=”/includes/images/News0254/PDF/SouthDevonEPMA_Newsletter.pdf that about five suppliers are expected to tender, with a “thorough” assessment process taking place during March involving a range of healthcare professionals.

Roberts said a supplier will be chosen in April, with a pilot of the system then taking place before the end of the year.

The consortium’s aim is to use the system across all care settings, starting with Torbay Hospital and the community hospitals, while GPs will be able to view the system via a clinical portal.

Dr Andrew Gunatilleke, South Devon’s clinical lead for the project, said the system will “greatly improve safety issues, because every step will be recorded and monitored”.

Lorraine Webber, the interim assistant director of nursing and professional practice at Torbay and Southern Devon, said the system will also enable greater communication and make handovers smoother.

“Important changes in medication, for example, will be flagged up by the system, and safety checks will be built in, so we will be able to spot issues far more quickly.”

A South Devon spokesperson said the trust did not want to comment on its plans until the tender process had been completed, after tenders closed on February 24.