Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust has paused its "pioneering" shared community record project while it reassesses the future needs of the system.
The trust signed a £3.8m, five-year contract to develop an integrated community record with New Zealand company Simpl in late 2011.
The system was going to provide trust staff with office-based and remote offline access, allowing them to view, update and monitor client records from anywhere at any time.
It would be built using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and would eventually replace the trust’s existing care record system, Paris.
However, Simpl’s UK operation went into administration in September 2012 and its current book value is £-400,000.
Simpl’s public sector CRM partner, Optevia, has continued work with the trust to develop the integrated record system.
However, a spokesperson for Torbay said the trust decided earlier this month to pause the project.
This would allow it to, “evaluate the work that has been done so far and reassess the future needs for the system, taking into account the increasing needs of our services users, the evolving demands of our staff and the changing profile of our organisation,” a statement said.
“We will now use this opportunity to revisit the requirements of the system to make certain it is as functional, secure and sustainable as possible for the future.”
During this developmental period the trust will continue to use Paris.
“This is a pioneering and innovative project and we have been the first trust to look at designing a system such as this,” the statement added.
“We know that our frontline staff spend a significant proportion of their time accessing systems to plan and document care, and the quality and accessibility of these systems has a direct impact upon the care we can provide to people.
“Whilst work in this area has continued to progress, it has always been our highest priority to ensure the quality and resilience of this vital piece of technology.
Torbay’s chief operating officer Mandy Seymour told EHI in November 2011 that the system was estimated to achieve efficiency savings of 10-20%.
Simpl UK EMEA regional director Paul Malcolm said at the time that the company hoped the Torbay deal would act as a springboard to getting more contracts in Britain.
© 2013 EHealth Media.
What if Simpl hadn't gone into receivership?Mary Hawking 36 weeks ago
I don't know the background to this one - but would agree that the NHS has not been very good at either deciding what it needed or procuring it.
However, in this case Torbay would appear to have little option except to pause roll-out if the supplier is no longer able to supply!
Is this an instance of poor specification and/or changes in the NHS rendering the specified product obsolete and no longer fit for purpose, or a sensible decision that, since the supplier was no longer in a position to supply, the project should be paused until the situation was sorted - and the opportunity taken to review needs in a changing NHS environment?
agreemwestwood 36 weeks ago
from the outside in primary care i look on with amazement at the complexity of bespoke systems bought in by hospital trusts up and down the country without a standard NHS TOR built into contract that does not create vendor lock in , an acceptance that a "shiny powerpoint" does not equate with a "delivery".... So perhaps transactional/process or regular user based software puts the onus on the software companies to develop software beyond the initial alpha phase "baubles" ... developmental risk sits with the company and not the NHS for each contractual "tweak" to make the software deliver"fit" with on initial "product vision"... then with a capped tariff if it "goes viral"
naive mode off
probably too simple
Developmental Risk - a two way streetgeorge385 36 weeks ago
The risk of software development does NOT rest solely with the software vendor? If the client asks for something to be developed then a watertight, clear and accurate functional specification is needed (sorely missing in many development requests) - and there is a responsibility for BOTH the software vendor/developer and the client to satisfy themselves that the specification and development is fit for purpose. It also needs to be properly documented, with the documentation cascading down to the end training/ documentation.
Spot on...Daniel Defoe 36 weeks ago
yet again T. Especially "... Most of all can we please end the NHS fantasy requirements - nail the vital and simple stuff first!...".
I've lost track of the SoRs/OBSs that I've seen which contain requirements which, when asked what they mean, the Trust concerned doesn't know (indicating a Specification prepared by a consultancy, and not properly validated by the client). Or worse - requirements which have been prepared over a long period of time and are not only disjointed but well out of date.
Well said....in arduis fidelis 36 weeks ago
And add to that some Trusts/managers inherent inability to properly research the market/products before purchase, thus handing over wads of cash for a nice shiny white elephant when, for example, they already have a solution on their books that can do exactly the same thing bought and paid for!.........If I had a pound for the number of times in a sales pitch I have seen/heard "Nothing else like it available anywhere!" and it was true I would have £3 :-)
Mutually assured destructionmrtablet 36 weeks ago
I hope this doesn't put the NHS off working with businesses 'small enough to fail'.
Rather what can be done to reduce the risk of EPR implementations to supplier and customer alike?
We repeatedly witness the poor outcome of the contractual arms race.
The tenders become more protracted, the contracts more complex, the number of players increased i.e. throw extra organisations into the mix to host data, provide hardware or other infrastructure, provide management consultancy etc.
The 'derisking' (sic) process paradoxically makes project failure a racing certainty. It also locks the hypertrophied protagonists into a King Kong versus Godzilla style death-match which guarantees grave injury to all parties.
I'm not a strong vendor neutral format and open-source protagonist but these do seem to offer one way of carving delivery into manageable chunks while also enabling graceful exits from relationships which aren't working.
Perhaps a 'show us the software' policy is possible - no promise of jam tomorrow to be accepted from any supplier OR ELSE the NHS pays explicitly for prototype development work distinct from a firm commitment to deliver/deploy.
Most of all can we please end the NHS fantasy requirements - nail the vital and simple stuff first!
Stop the CEO crowing about paper free records, diagnostic cyber-implants, nurses with jetpacks, doctors with bionic brains and ad hoc performance indicators delivered to the DoH via Twitter - all 'within 6 months' - when after three years of empty hype one can confidently predict they will fail to migrate their PAS data.
I can dream.