Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has pushed back its go-live with the openMAXIMS electronic patient record until September.

The trust was planning to go live with the system in May. This was pushed back to July earlier this year and has now been delayed until September.

The latest board papers say no further delay will be possible as the trust must be off its current system, Cerner Millennium, before the end of its national contract in October.

IMS Maxims will be providing its newly open source patient administration system as well as A&E, theatre and reporting modules.

The system will initially go-live without access to the Patient Demographic Service, which will be added before the end of the year.

An EPR update paper presented to the board in May says that following the latest software update in April, a number of issues were identified that needed to be fixed ahead of implementation.

The go-live has been put back to allow robust testing and to provide sufficient time for staff training, as well as enabling further rehearsals to ensure a smooth switchover from Cerner to Maxims.

“The migration of data remains one of the key risks to the programme and the revised go-live date will enable additional trial loads to take place,” the report says.

“There is also a plan in place to improve the current quality of data in Cerner before it is migrated.”

The report also gives details of an EPR open day held on 11 May where nearly 500 staff were surveyed and 80% said they felt happy or very happy about the system after attending.

Taunton and Somerset received Cerner Millennium in December 2007 as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, for which the contract expires on 31 October 2015.

The board’s EPR update paper acknowledges that the September timeline moves the trust very close to the end of its existing contract.

“Discussions are underway to understand the implications of any potential extension to this, although this would very much be seen as a last resort and low likelihood given the progress with the Maxims development,” it says.

IMS Maxims chief executive Shane Tickell described Taunton’s decision to delay its go-live as “sensible” as it will ensure staff are prepared for the new system and that the initial stages of implementation are as controlled as possible.  

“Whilst the movement of ‘go lives’ are not always desired, they can be necessary. Our close partnership with Taunton means that we are making planned, joint decisions for the benefit of the hospital and the patients it serves,” he said. 

“There are a number of areas that are ready to go live now, including the emergency department. The trust has told us that they believe they are in a great position to not only manage a successful implementation in September, but also to deliver significant benefits over the longer term.”

A financial report says the trust received nearly £1 million from the Safer Hospitals Safer Wards Technology Fund in March this year to put towards the project.

The projected costs for this financial year are £3.7 million, including £815,000 for the IMS implementation, £650,000 for hardware and £50,000 for exiting the BT data centre.