Eleven NHS trusts in the North, Midlands and East have been approved tens of millions of pounds of central funding from the Department of Health to deploy CSC’s Lorenzo electronic patient record.
Responding to a freedom of information request from Digital Health News, the DH confirmed that ten of these had been approved the maximum available support package of £3.1 million from central deployment funding.
The other trust – The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust – is set to receive £2.3 million. In the FOI response, the DH confirmed that funding is still available and the latest a trust can apply is July 2016.
It also said that there is “no concept of a ‘total central deployment fund’”, although it does not expect that the total number of trusts to take Lorenzo under the deal will exceed 22.
This funding is in addition to money that the DH has agreed to pay directly to CSC for both deployment charges and services charges.
The DH has said it is unable to supply these figures under section 43 of the FOI Act, which says that information can be exempt from release if it is “deemed prejudicial to the commercial interests of any entity”.
Several trusts in the NME region that have picked Lorenzo have announced the financial details of the full business case for the system, giving some insight into the total amount of money the DH will pay out.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in board papers last year that the full cost of the system over ten years will be £33m and it is seeking £13m in funding from the DH, while in 2013 The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said it expects to receive nearly £14 million in government funding.
Trusts in the NME region have been able to access central funding for Lorenzo since 2013.
As part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, CSC was contracted to deliver Lorenzo to all three regions. However, the electronic patient record, initially developed by iSoft, which CSC later bought, was hit by repeated delays.
Eventually, the DH agreed a new deal with CSC that removed its exclusive right to provide its EPR to the NME, but made central funding available to trusts who still wanted to purchase it; as long as they provided a robust business case.
The DH now says it “either pays CSC for services they provide or, if the trust chooses to use another supplier or their own staff to do the work, the department reimburses the trust for the expense incurred after the work is completed”.
It added that it was “content that this arrangement offers good value for money”.
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the latest to confirm it is going with Lorenzo under this agreement. It said in March this year that the first phase of the project is expected to go live at the end of 2015.
In a comment to Digital Health News, Philippe Houssiau, vice president, healthcare for CSC in the UK, said: “Lorenzo is increasingly widely used in England, with 19 trusts – including one of the largest in the country – now contracted to take the system.
“We are actively working with trusts both inside and outside the North, Midlands and East regions who are considering the product as part of their strategic development plans.
“We designed Lorenzo specifically for the NHS as a modern, flexible and interoperable EHR system. It is a key product for CSC and we believe it is a good choice for any trust.
“We have a comprehensive development roadmap, which includes enhanced clinical functionality and a range of mobility options, and which has been positively received in the marketplace.”
The full list of trusts to take advantage of the offer as of 31 May 2015 is:
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust