Hospital IT contracts set up under the National Programme for IT will continue to be funded to the tune of £500 million up to 2020, NHS England has said.
NHS England director of digital technology Beverley Bryant has confirmed that £500 million of the £1.8 billion earmarked for investment in a paperless NHS will pay for ongoing work under local service provider contracts.
This includes CSC’s contract to deliver the Lorenzo electronic patient record to trusts in the North, Midlands and East, Bryant confirmed.
Digital Health has identified 11 trusts that have deployed or are planning to deploy CSC’s Lorenzo under a new deal reached between the Department of Health and CSC in 2012.
This removed the company’s 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.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has also recently decided to stick with its Lorenzo EPR, but whether it will be able to access any further central funding is unclear.
No more than 22 trusts are expected to take advantage of the offer.
The NME contracts set up under NPfIT expire this July, while national contracts covering trusts in London and the South expired last October. All Cerner trusts have already transferred onto local contracts with the company and how they will access any further central funding is not clear.
Around £50 million of the £500 million will also go towards funding the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme, which was set up for trusts that got nothing under NPfIT. More than £30 million in central funding has already been paid to 21 trusts in the region.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced in February that the government will be investing £4.2 billion in NHS technology over the next five years, including £1.8 billion for achieving a paperless NHS by 2020.
Bryant later confirmed that £900 million would be capital funding and £400 million would be revenue funding, which left £500 million unaccounted for.
The unallocated £1.3 billion in funding is expected to be distributed to trusts via the Sustainability and Transformation Fund, established as part of NHS England’s planning guidance earlier this year. It will depend on a trust’s Digital Maturity Index performance along with their paperless plans as outlined in Local Digital Roadmaps, due to be submitted this June,
Further details around how the funding will be allocated are due to be released this month.