Proposed plans to extend an Epic electronic health record to King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been hit by a funding setback.

The trust was looking to be included in Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s £175million electronic health record (EHR) procurement. The multi-million pound contract was awarded to US firm Epic with the EHR due to go live in April 2023.

Part of the plans included the option of linking up to King’s College Hospital and possibly Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. However a report included in the latest Guy’s and St Thomas’ board papers revealed the extension to King’s has suffered a setback.

“At its previous meeting the committee had approved the full business case for the implementation of Epic at the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals,” the report states.

“It remained the ambition of both the trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH) to extend the programme to KCH, a move that would require a formal change control note to the contract between the trust and Epic.

“Over recent weeks the trust had tried, but had ultimately been unable to utilise capital underspends across the NHS to fund the extension of the programme to KCH.

“Whilst this was disappointing the committee noted that the business case for KCH would still be progressed through the relevant channels, that KCH would still contribute to the design of the programme, and that joint governance at a Board level would be needed from August 2021.”

Despite the potential setback, King’s College Hospital plans to continue to try and secure approval for government funding during 2021/22 which could allow the trust to go live in 2023.

A spokesperson on behalf of Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts said: “Under the joint procurement for a new electronic health record, both trusts explored the possibility of utilising potential capital underspends across the NHS to support the implementation of Epic at King’s.

“Having considered the level of approvals that would be required to secure the funding, both boards decided that approval was unlikely in this timeframe.”