More than £50 million in central government money is yet to be paid to southern NHS trusts to deploy new clinical IT systems before March 2019.    

A Freedom of Information request to the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveals that, to date, £35 million of payments have been authorised and paid to 21 NHS provider organisations under the South Local Clinical Systems programme, which was set up for trusts that received little or nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

This is made up of: £8.3 million paid to two ambulance trusts to implement the Ortivus electronic patient record; £13.4 million to nine community and child health providers to implement TPP’s SystmOne; and £13.6 million to ten acute organisations, which have invested in a range of systems.                                      

The anticipated remaining funding for the programme between now and March 2019 is just over £50 million. “Funding will be released to NHS provider organisations at point of need in line with approved business cases, contracts and agreed implementation plans,” the FOI response says.            

Digital Health News reported in June 2013 that more than £80 million in central funding would be made available to trusts in the South of England to invest in clinical IT systems and this would be matched with £100 million in local funding. Trusts were encouraged to form collaborative groups to identify systems of which they were particularly in need.

Five of the six acute collaborative groups have now awarded contracts to suppliers, but they are largely to deploy. This is why such a large proportion of the central money promised has not been paid out.

The SmartCare collaboration of Gloucestershire Hospitals and Yeovil District Hospital NHS foundation trusts along with Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust have together so far been paid £4.2 million and plan to start roll-out of InterSystems’ electronic patient record TrakCare next month.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust have each been paid £1 million so far to implement the Allscripts patient administration system and a maternity system from EuroKing. East Kent has already deployed EuroKing and plans to be live with its new PAS by summer 2016. 

Western Sussex Hospitals and Queen Victoria Hospitals NHS foundation trusts and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust have together received £5.3 million in funding for their electronic document management and portal project with Kainos Evolve. They expect to go-live this July. 

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust have chosen Kainos Evolve and Hugh Symons to deliver an electronic document management system. Ashford has already been paid £1.4 million and the HSCIC said confirmation is expected shortly that a £2.85 million payment to Frimley Health has been processed and completed. 

A consortium of  South Devon trusts and healthcare organisations have chosen NoemaLife as its preferred supplier for an e-prescribing system. They are led by South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which has been paid £660,000 for the project. 

The final group, made up of Poole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is also looking to invest in an e-prescribing and medicines administration system, but is still subject to business case approval.

Royal Bournemouth’s director of informatics Peter Gill told Digital Health News in January that: “The procurement is still live and we are awaiting for approval from the Department of Health with regards to this business case before we can award the contract.”