Cerner has said that the decision by nine London trusts to jointly tender for new IT systems is a natural result of London’s National Programme for IT in the NHS contract approaching its end.
The nine trusts issued the tender at the start of February, looking for a patient administration and electronic patient record system, a clinical portal and hosting services.
Most of the nine are already running Cerner Millennium, or look like candidates to take the system as a result of mergers or deployments within their local health community.
“I expect that most will look at using Millennium to go forward,” Matthew Swindells, senior vice president and managing director of Cerner Global Consulting, told eHealth Insider in Las Vegas late last month.
Speaking at the massive HIMSS12 conference and show, Swindells said the main consideration will be future hosting arrangements, following the end of BT’s local service provider deal for the capital.
“There’s a big difference between a programme approach and a market approach,” he said.
A possible pointer to the future was provided by Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s January decision to sign an extension direct with Cerner, rather than extend its contract with BT.
Homerton, however, may prove a special case as it was never hosted in the BT data centre, as most other Cerner sites in London and the South are.
The nine trusts involved in the tender are: Barts and the London; Croydon Healthcare; Imperial College Healthcare; Kingston Healthcare; Newham University Hospital; Royal Free Hampstead; South London Healthcare; St George’s Healthcare; and Whipps Cross University Hospital.
Barts and the London, Kingston Healthcare, Newham University Hospital, St George’s Healthcare, and Royal Free Hampstead trusts have Cerner Millennium deployed, with contracts due to expire in 2014 and 2015.
Imperial College Healthcare is in the process of implementing Cerner Millennium, and South London Healthcare is extending its use from one site to three.
Whipps Cross University Hospital, which is currently using McKesson Totalcare, is in advanced discussions to merge with two other Millennium sites - Barts and the London and Newham University Hospital.
And Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has announced that its community services will be the first to use the US system.
Despite this, at least one source in London has told EHI that there are already disagreements between some of the nine on future direction.
This source said at least one major trust is looking for a ‘rip and replace’ option, suggesting they will not all go the same way.
Swindells said all the NHS sites that got Cerner under NPfIT also got a perpetual license for Millennium, including the 2012 release, when that becomes available. He said the release – which was unveiled at HIMSS12 under the banner Millennium+ - offered them a lot of clinical capabilities to get to grips with.
He added that as part of its investment in the UK Cerner is now working with NHS trusts to connect them to its huge US shared research database, enabling them to share and access ten years of anonymised pooled research data from the patients treated by Cerner customers.
Jeff Townsend, Cerner’s chief of staff told EHI that the company was working with Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as a pilot site and would be establishing a UK research cloud, linking UK Cerner customers.
© 2012 EHealth Media.