NHS Connecting for Health has announced the final deal to roll out digital imaging systems across England.
The deal had been held up by an unsuccessful legal challenge to the procurement process by imaging firm Fuji.
Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) will mean that nearly all images – such as x-rays and scans – used by the health service can be stored, transmitted and viewed digitally.
Outsourcing and consultancy firm Accenture, the local service provider covering the North East and East of England regions, will deploy the PACS system with imaging company Agfa sub-contracted to supply the software.
Similar agreements are already in place with NHS Connecting for Health’s other three local service providers.
NHS IT director general Richard Granger said, “I was disappointed that delay was inflicted on the NHS and our patients by the failed legal challenge. But I was delighted that the judge held that there had been a correct and high-quality procurement process.
“Today we have completed the contractual jigsaw and I look forward to driving implementation so that PACS becomes ubiquitous in English hospitals and the benefits are made real.”
The legal challenge has not been the only snag to delay the PACS roll-out. Earlier this year NHS organisations warned that early implementations were being delayed by several issues, including funding uncertainties.