The East Midlands Radiology consortium (EMRAD) is reported to be withholding money from GE Healthcare until the supplier patches up problems with its beleaguered imaging system.
EMRAD, which covers eight trusts in the East Midlands, paid £30 million for a cloud-based picture archiving and communication system, radiology information system, and vendor neutral archive from GE Healthcare in 2015.
Yet issues have plagued the system as far back as 2016, when it was blamed for a huge backlog of CT and MRI reporting at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
In October last year, it was revealed that the system was still experiencing widespread failures, at some points forcing doctors to copy images onto DVDs and then sent to specialists via taxis.
According to HSJ, EMRAD is now refusing to pay the full contract cost until GE resolves the problem.
EMRAD director Tim Taylor told the publication that the consortium was withholding “a reasonable sum” from the supplier and suggested that the product GE had delivered was not up to the requirements of the trusts it served.
However, Taylor also suggested that the supporting NHS infrastructure wasn’t up to the task and implied that different ways of working between EMRAD organisations had complicated matters.
A GE Healthcare spokesperson told Digital Health News: “We continue to work closely with EMRAD to resolve any issues.”
EMRAD is hosted by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and includes Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
University Hospitals of Leicester Trust was previously a member of the consortium but withdrew in October last year due to ongoing problems with GE’s solution.
Digital Health News has contacted Nottingham University Hospitals for comment.