Health trust abandons NHS care record upgrade

Uncertainty sees Bath jump ship
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Uncertainty sees Bath jump ship

A health trust serving more than 500,000 people said it has pulled out of the national NHS IT electronic care record programme because it has lost confidence in the project following the departure of key supplier Fujitsu.

The Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust (RUH) has stopped the deployment of the Cerner Millennium electronic care records system - part of the £12.7bn national NHS IT modernisation programme.

The Trust said it terminated the implementation because it had lost confidence in the delivery of the system following Fujitsu's exit as the provider delivering the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) in the south of England.

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Fujitsu will continue to deliver the system in the south until it departs in November and health authorities are now in negotiations with Bath about whether it will use its own provider to implement the Millennium care records system or turn to other NPfIT providers, BT or CSC.

The RUH provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in north east Somerset and western Wiltshire.

The delivery of the NPfIT has been beset by problems, with a parliamentary committee hearing earlier this year that the Lorenzo care record system was still to go live six years into the programme.

A spokesman for the Southern Programme for IT confirmed that "the deployment of Millennium is now not taking place" in RUH.

He said that if the Bath Trust decided to pick its own supplier from a list of approved providers to deliver the system it would have to be funded locally.

The spokesman added that negotiations were continuing between central health authorities and the trust and that he was confident the work already undertaken by Fujitsu would be able to be built on for any future delivery of a care record system.

No date has been set for resuming the implementation of the system.

A spokeswoman for RUH said: "Following the termination of the contract between the NHS and Fujitsu, and subsequent meetings between the trust, Fujitsu, Cerner and Connecting for Health, the assessment of the RUH trust board was that it did not have sufficient confidence in the level of support that it would receive from the suppliers, at and beyond the go-live period, to proceed with the implementation of Millennium."

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