The business case for four southern ambulance trusts to get new IT systems is awaiting approval from the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office.
NHS South Central strategic health authority chief information officer Bill McAvoy is the lead on the South Ambulance programme.
It is one of four parts to the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme which also includes South Acute, South Integration and South Community and Child Health.
The SLCS programme is for the 60% of providers in the South that otherwise got nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS. The organisations are hoping to attract central funding for their procurements.
McAvoy said the ambulance project is the latter stage of approval with the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office.
Four ambulance trusts are involved; South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust; South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust; and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
“Strong trust leadership continues and the level of interest in the market was confirmed at a recent supplier event,” McAvoy told eHealth Insider.
“Subject to final approval from the DH, Cabinet Office and ministers, we hope to launch this side of Christmas.”
Once approved, local ambulance trusts will lead the procurement and sign contracts with suppliers.
McAvoy said the trusts are looking for the same functionality – primarily a system that can send real time information to A&E departments - but will not necessarily all choose the same system.
“The business case is to deliver the functionality, at this stage there’s no outcome defined,” he said.
While trusts are feeling positive about the project, they realise there is potential for delay while it is being signed off.
“I would say the trusts are feeling positive about the way we have kept them informed and shared things in an open transparent way,” he added.
Central funding has already been approved for the community and child health procurement which is being led by chief information officer for NHS South East Coast Tad Matus.
Bidding for the community and child health tender closed last week.
Matus said the bids will be evaluated next week, with a break for school half term, then another week of demonstrations from suppliers before making a final decision.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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