Another blow for upgrades to patient record systems...
A multibillion pound project to install a patient record system across the NHS has been dealt another blow after a key health trust decided to abandon the system.
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust has decided it no longer wants Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) to implement the Lorenzo electronic patient record system.
The mental health trust was one of four NHS trusts chosen to be early adopters of Lorenzo. The system was to go live at these early-adopter sites before CSC rolled it out to trusts across the Midlands and the north and east of England.
The project to implement Lorenzo at Pennine was more than a year behind schedule, with the system first due to go live at the trust in November 2009.
A joint statement issued by the Department of Health and the Pennine trust on Friday said the DoH "will continue ongoing discussions with CSC" about the Lorenzo rollout, which is being delivered under CSC's Local Service Provider (LSP) contract with the DoH.
CSC said it was disappointed with Pennine's decision to withdraw from the Lorenzo early-adopter programme. "We remain in ongoing discussions with the DoH regarding Lorenzo and how completion of this phase of Lorenzo's mental health functionality can be achieved, including the identification of a suitable alternative trust," CSC said in a statement.
CSC has repeatedly missed targets, known as milestones, for the rollout of the Lorenzo system to the early-adopter sites, and by March this year had missed 67 milestones set under its LSP contract.
The LSP contract is worth just over £3bn but the DoH has said it expects negotiations with CSC will reduce the contract's value by about £500m.
The Pennine-DoH joint statement said "the delays of the mental health functionality within Lorenzo are very regrettable" and that Pennine had withdrawn from the early-adopter programme after "long and careful consideration by the trust".
According to the statement, Pennine "will now consider other options available in the wider market" for an electronic patient records system.
While the DoH has not spelled out the impact of Pennine's withdrawal on the wider rollout of the Lorenzo system, last year in a press briefing about NHS IT projects, DoH CIO Christine Connelly said CSC had to deploy Lorenzo at all the early-adopter sites under the terms of the LSP contract.
"We are clear on what the contract says success looks like, and that means essentially the trust signing off and saying the deployment has been successful," she said.
Connelly provided further insight into the contract earlier this year, this time into how the DoH might be able to end its commitment to take the Lorenzo system from CSC.
Under the terms of the LSP contract, which is being renegotiated, the DoH is required to pay CSC to implement Lorenzo at a minimum number of NHS trusts.
But, in a letter to MP Richard Bacon, Connelly indicated that...