There are fears at a Midlands trust for its legacy systems’ support due to recent large-scale redundancies at software supplier, CSC.
In Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s May board papers it says the trust’s concerns have been raised with the supplier’s directors.
CSC merged with HP Enterprise Services in April to create DXC.
The papers said: “The reliability of legacy systems following changes to the CSC (DXC) support and service delivery structure is a cause for concern, with large numbers of staff supporting the legacy systems being made redundant”.
“This has been escalated to DXCs [sic] Vice President & General Manager.”
A spokeswoman for the trust told Digital Health News that: “there were no specific concerns, only uncertainty around what the potential impact of the loss of expertise and the large number of key systems (many legacy) the Trust has supported by DXC”.
She said that DXC had sent a senior representative to discuss a new support model, available expertise and escalation routes for the trust.
CSC, a US-based company, was contracted to deliver Lorenzo under the National Programme of IT.
In Derby’s risk register two IT concerns are joined together under, “failure to implement the electronic patient record / loss of access to existing (legacy) systems”, with the current risk as “possible/major”.
Derby is moving onto Lorenzo electronic patient record as it says the dual running of clinical systems “is not efficient and requires complicated integration managed by a number of support staff to keep systems synchronised and minimise risk”.
Derby is in the midst of a phased roll-out of Lorenzo. It went live in the children’s emergency department on 25 April, and is then due to go live in the adult emergency department later this month.
There have been successive rounds of redundancies at CSC over the past few years, which were called a “knee-jerk reaction” by MPs in the House of Commons in February.
In January 2017, 1,100 staff were laid off out of its 6,500 strong UK staff, after 499 redundancies were announced in December 2016,
In May 2014, CSC said it would make 750 UK workers redundant, as part of its “ongoing transformation strategy”, followed by another 750 staff one month later.
This followed earlier job losses in 2012 from staff working on its NHS account, with 500 people made redundant, as NPfIT work wound down. This announcement led to protests in CSC’s Chesterfield, Chorley, Leeds and Solihull sites.
Derby’s board papers also reference national concerns with Lorenzo such as outages and software issues and updates. The software recently hit headlines at Sheffield Teaching NHS Trust when a glitch left nearly 15,000 patients without letters.
Digital Health Intelligence lists 160 trusts as using CSC systems, including over 20 using Lorenzo. Many are a legacy from the company’s time as local service provider for the North, Midlands and East of England as part of the NPfIT.
DXC declined to comment.