Epic has been designated ‘preferred bidder’ for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s £400m electronic patient record (EPR) contract, Digital Health News can confirm.

Manchester University Foundation Trust (MFT) begun an open procurement process in August 2018 for a future EPR solution capable of meeting its multitude “specialist and complex needs.”

The contract carries a maximum value of £400m, however this figure includes contract extensions beyond an initial 15 year term and any future “reconfiguration of healthcare” in Greater Manchester.

MFT said in its procurement notice that it “expects the initial contracted solution to cost less than this.”

The trust confirmed to Digital Health News on 3 December that Epic was the preferred bidder for the contract.

“We can confirm that Epic is the preferred bidder for our future EPR solution, subject to completion and approval of a Full Business Case,” a statement from the trust read.

“This follows a full Competitive Dialogue procurement process which began in August 2018 and has involved a robust process assessing functionality to suit MFT’s complex organisational needs.”

According to a Government contract notice, the contract was due to start on 1 November 2019, however an MFT spokesperson confirmed that no agreement had been signed.

Currently, three acute NHS trusts have signed with Epic’s EPR solution.

University College London Hospitals went live with the US vendor’s integrated clinical system in April this year, while Royal Devon and Exeter received the green light to proceed with its implementation in June 2018.

Cambridge University Hospitals was the first UK trust to go live with Epic back in October 2014, as part of a £200m digitisation programme.

Manchester University NHS is the largest trust in the UK and is responsible for running nine hospitals across six separate sites.

The trust outlined in its procurement notice that it was looking for a future EPR solution capable of meeting its multitude “specialist and complex needs.”

This includes improving the patient experience by reducing the need for patients to give the same information to different members of staff and reducing delays in accessing paper medical records, as well as enabling staff to access the information they need to care for patients wherever and whenever they need it.

Manchester University NHS is also aiming to improve patient safety by alerting potential medication error, allergies, healthcare-acquired infection risks, as well as help to improve the quality of care provided through clinical decision support and reducing unwarranted clinical variation in treatment.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that a contract had been awarded to Epic by MFT. Digital Health News would like to clarify that no agreement has been signed at this stage and that Epic remains preferred bidder in the procurement process.