Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will go live with an InterSystems electronic patient record in November after becoming the first southern acute trust to have government funding approved for the project.

Gloucestershire’s contract award notice says it has entered into an eight-year contract with  Intersystems valued at £40 million.

Trust chief executive Dr Frank Harsent told EHI News it received ministerial approval for the project in February this year, becoming the first organisation from the southern collaborations to receive central funding.

Gloucestershire, along with Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is one of six collaborations involving 23 acute trusts in the south that received little or nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

The collaborations were formed to buy a variety of IT systems and attracted £80 million in central funding, which is to be matched with £100 million in local funds.

The group, known as SmartCare, announced last May that it had chosen InterSystems as its new supplier.

Harsent said Gloucestershire is planning to go live with the first phase of the EPR in November, installing a patient administration system and modules for A&E, maternity and theatres.

“They’re all linked together in our current age-old system and I want to have it all done before winter comes,” he said.

Gloucestershire is working on a major upgrade of its wireless internet network alongside the EPR implementation to support a roll-out of mobile devices to staff. It will issue 5,500 NHS Smartcards by September for staff to access the new system.

“We’re just working systematically, as we need to make sure we cover everything that we need to cover,” Harsent said.

SmartCare’s original tender requested a clinical information system to be delivered on a “remotely hosted, managed services basis” for up to ten years, costing between £35m and £60m for all three trusts.

This included a patient administration system, order communications, e-prescribing, clinical decision support, A&E, theatres, pathology, pharmacy and stock control, and clinical documentation.

TrakCare is widely used in Scotland, where it covers 70% of the population, and is in place at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust.

However, it did not have a major English EPR site until February 2014, when North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust announced that it had chosen InterSystems as its preferred bidder.