Trust tenders outside IT programme

An NHS foundation trust has begun to tender for IT systems outside the £6.2bn national programme for IT (NPfIT).

An NHS foundation trust has begun to tender for IT systems outside the £6.2bn national programme for IT (NPfIT).

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust said the urgency of its requirements meant it needed to seek systems outside the national programme, which has been hit by delays.

"The board has approved a business case to test the external market for the provision of three clinical support systems which are either yet to be made available by the local service provider [LSP], or are yet to fully meet client requirements," it said.

The trust has placed an advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting bids for three systems: electronic prescribing, order communications for results reporting and a theatre information system.

The NPfIT had contracted LSPs to provide hospital systems but, in the Newcastle area, LSP Accenture has been delayed in delivering these systems.

The trust said that for its theatre information system it was seeking to compare value for money between the LSP system and an external product.

Because Newcastle is a foundation trust, it has greater autonomy in its spending than other trusts.

Despite seeking systems outside the programme, the trust said it planned to develop an integrated electronic patient record  and would be working with Connecting for Health, which runs the NPfIT, and Accenture to bring about this change.

It also said it would work with Accenture on introducing the patient administrative system, the maternity system and the accident and emergency system.

NHS Connecting for Health said the trust remained committed to the NPfIT.

Read: Health minister rebuffs calls for audit, pointing to NPfIT progress

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