Healthcare computing company CSC may be looking to halt support for one of its oldest patient administration systems.

Board papers published by East Cheshire NHS Trust in September 2015 say the trust has received notification from the company that provides the trust with its patient administration system – CSC’s PatientCentre/CliniCom – that it is “stopping active development of the system.”

The papers add: “This would mean that the PAS system would have to be replaced in order for the trust to be compliant with reporting requirements. This would have to be undertaken next year.”

CSC didn’t confirm if support was being withdrawn for its older products, but said it was working to encourage users to move to the most current version of PatientCentre.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to provide support for the CliniCom/PatientCentre product family. Future enhancements will focus on the PatientCentre variant, which provides a modern graphical user interface. We are working closely with users to provide them with a path forward to the current version of PatientCentre.”

CliniCom was developed by a company called SMS, which was bought by Torex, which added the PatientCentre front-end.

Torex was subsequently acquired by iSoft in 2004, as it looked to secure its place within the National Programme for IT in the NHS. ISoft was acquired by CSC in 2011.  

CSC’s other products include the iPM patient administration system and iCM clinical suite, which the company also acquired as part of its acquisition of iSoft, and the Lorenzo electronic patient record, which was developed for NPfIT in the North, Midlands and East of England.

Many trusts in the NME took iPM and iCM as ‘interim’ solutions when the development and deployment of Lorenzo ran late. Contracts for these systems come to an end in July 2016.

As reported by Digital Health News in August, the Health and Social Care Information Centre expects around 60% of the systems installed by CSC to be retained once the national contracts come to an end.

A number of trusts in the NME have moved or are moving to Lorenzo, taking advantage of central funding to help pay for the implementation. However, a number of trusts in the region are also in East Cheshire’s position of using the much older, pre-NPfIT era, CliniCom/PatientCentre product.

The Digital Health Intelligence Database indicates that these include Central Manchester University Hospitals; Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh; The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn; Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Leeds Teaching Hospitals; Pennine Acute Hospitals; and University Hospitals of Leicester.

Speaking to Digital Health News in 2013, Central Manchester University Hospitals’ director of informatics Helen Ainsbury said that its CliniCom PAS was “ancient” and that the plan is to replace it in sections using in-house development. “We’re going to phase out the information gradually until there’s nothing left of it,” she said.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told Digital Health News that it is aware its system expires in March 2017 and the trust is tendering for a new PAS to install before then.

A spokesperson for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn said that the issue that affects East Cheshire does not affect them as the trust uses a more up to date version of PatientCentre.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh is planning to implement the Allscripts EPR and University Hospitals of Leicester is working with IBM to procure a new EPR.

East Cheshire NHS Trust itself was part of a joint procurement process for a new electronic patient record alongside Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

Both Stockport and University Hospital of South Manchester have chosen their suppliers, respectively InterSystems and Allscripts, but East Cheshire is still to confirm its decision.