East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust have signed a contract for an electronic patient record with supplier Epic.

Following national approval of the trust’s full business case and ESNEFT Board approval, the contract was signed with Epic this month.

The EPR will streamline multiple digital systems used across Ipswich Hospital, Colchester Hospital and five community hospitals in east Suffolk and north Essex, into one single system.

Dr Dermot O’Riordan is one of the chief medical information officers working on the EPR programme.

He said: “Having come into ESNEFT from outside, I have been really impressed with the process that has been used to select an EPR with an impressive level of clinical and other staff engagement.

“I am quite sure that, in Epic, we have selected the best solution for ESNEFT and am excited to be able to move onto the next stages of building and designing it to meet the needs of our patients and staff.”

Epic was chosen following a thorough evaluation tender process last year, with a planned go-live date of October 2025.

Director of digital and logistics Mike Meers said: “We know Epic is the best in class and the programme will now move very quickly. This is a really exciting step forward.

“We’ll move into the implementation and readiness phase of work, begin building the infrastructure and in June we’ll have our Epic Orientation Week where everybody involved in building the environment will input into the clinical and operational build. The week will be an opportunity to understand the Epic way of doing things as they work at pace.”

The implementation is part of a £190m programme of investment over a 13-year period, which includes a contribution from the National Frontline Digitisation Fund.

Chief executive Nick Hulme added: “This is a really exciting step and I know our investment will make a difference. I’ve spoken to people who want to join ESNEFT because we’re getting Epic. Epic only invests in successful organisations and we’re only able to purchase Epic because of the success over the last few years, so it’s really exciting.”

The contract signing with ESNEFT follows a successful few months for Epic’s EPR program in the UK, with five trusts selecting Epic in as many months. In the most recent announcement, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said last week that it had chosen Epic as its preferred EPR supplier.