Minister renews faith in Cerner and Lorenzo - but "challenges remain"

Junior Treasury minister Sarah McCarthy-Fry, the Exchequer Secretary, has affirmed her Government’s faith in iSoft’s Lorenzo and the Cerner Millennium software, though she added that “challenges remain”.

She was responding to MP Richard Bacon during a debate in the House of Commons on the work of the Public Accounts Committee. Bacon had expressed his concerns about the lateness of Lorenzo and the “havoc” caused by the Cerner systems at some hospitals.

Lorenzo and Cerner’s Millennium are patient administration systemswhich should help hospitals keep electronic records. They are due to bethe heart of the NPfIT Care Records Service. 

McCarthy-Frysaid: “We all acknowledge that the NHS IT project is hugely ambitiousand that it is essential that we get it right. It is obvious toeverybody that many challenges remain.

“We still believe that Cerner Millennium and Lorenzo will be able to support the NHS in the long term.”

Sheexpressed confidence in CSC, which is the local service provider to NHStrusts in England north of Oxford, but not quite as much overtconfidence in BT, which is under contract to supply trusts in Londonand some in the south.

She said: “Local service providers havebeen set a deadline of the end of November to demonstrate significantprogress in the acute sector.

“They will have to demonstratethat Lorenzo has been successfully deployed by Computer SciencesCorporation across a non-acute site and is on track to be deployed inan acute site by March 2010, and that there is a high degree ofconfidence in CSC’s ability to deploy across the NME – north, midlandsand east- area by January 2016.

“BT will have to havesuccessfully deployed Cerner in an additional acute site, and theremust be a high degree of confidence in its ability to deploy acrossLondon by October 2015…

“The Department of Health will provide a note on progress by the end of this year.”

Shesaid she would write in detail to Richard Bacon on the specific pointshe made about Cerner’s Millennium and Lorenzo, and the value for moneyof the NPfIT.

Lorenzo – is the cost per user frightening? – IT Projects Blog

Health suppliers trafficking in patient data? – Health Care Renewal

iSoft to go directly to trusts in the south – Dominic Fallows