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London not a done deal for Cerner

14 March 2012   Rebecca Todd

Wheels in motion for London IT

The nine London trusts involved in a massive, collaborative IT tender could each decide to go with a different supplier, it has been revealed.

The 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.

All have, or look like good candidates to get, Cerner Millennium as part of the national programme.

However, NHS London regional director of provider development and London Programme for IT programme director, John Goulston, told EHI that all nine trusts could - in theory - choose a different supplier.

He said the trusts were aware of potential benefits if they could agree on one supplier, and the tender was designed to make sure that this opportunity was exploited.

“There will be nine individual contracts, but if they all choose the same supplier they will try and do it in a collaborative approach in order to maximise the economies of scale and coverage,” said Goulston.

He added that each trust would evaluate the submitted bids and take their views to an overarching review group to make a decision.

Goulston also gave some further information about the position of the trusts involved in the tender. He said they formed a consortium of London Cerner users, which had a programme board.

However, some are yet to get the system, as there are four further deployments of Millennium to go in London.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust is due to go live with the system at Queen Elizabeth and Princess Royal hospitals over the next year.

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust is due to go live in September – becoming the first trust to use Millennium in the community in the process.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is due to go live in 2013 - it has only deployed the order communications module so far.

“There will be some trusts who won’t have been using Cerner Millennium for a long period of time [before signing new contracts], but that’s the position we are in,” Goulston added.

Matthew Swindells, managing director of Cerner Global Consulting, told EHI that he expected “most” trusts to stick with Millennium.

However, Goulston said that was not a foregone conclusion and it was up to trusts to encourage other suppliers to bid for the work.

Suppliers could bid independently, or a consortium of suppliers could come together with a main contractor to deliver a joint bid, he said.

The estimated value of the London tender is between £250m and £400m. Goulston explained this was based on indicative costings by the trusts, which are still going through the process of getting board approval for their business cases.

The plan is to have a new contract signed with a supplier or suppliers by spring next year, providing a two-year window before current contracts expire in October 2015.

Goulston said LPfIT would have a role in managing each trust’s exit from the current contract as nobody could cope if they all exited on the same day.

The aim is for all nine to have exited the contract by October 2015, but a small extension window is available.

This would be especially important if trusts decided not to go with Millennium, as they would need a clear plan for replacing their current system, he added.

“It takes a long time to do an IT implementation, hence the trusts have decided that this year is the starting point for procuring the contract that’s right for each organisation for beyond 2015.”

The trusts involved in the joint tender are; Barts and the London; Croydon; Imperial; Kingston Hospital; Newham University Hospital; Royal Free Hampstead; South London; St George’s Healthcare; and Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Goulston expected a similar collaborative tender to be issued for London community and mental health trusts using RiO, and for acute trusts in the South.


Related Articles:

6 News: London trusts set ambitious EPR deadline | 20 February 2012
10 News: Massive London PAS and EPR tender issued | 15 February 2012
Last updated: 14 March 2012 07:11

© 2012 EHealth Media.


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Definitely Cerner-I predict

Neelam Dugar 123 weeks ago

Try getting data out....and put into another vendors PAS. Impossible, expensive. Is that not a compelling enough reason to stay with Cerner.


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Another vendor's PAS?

Daniel Defoe 123 weeks ago

"Try getting data out....and put into another vendors PAS. Impossible, expensive." Not quite true Neelam; it's been done time and time again as most PAS vendors will tell you. However, a good reason for future procurements (including this one) - and not just PACS - to include a requirement for a Vendor-Neutral Archive. I'm surprised you didn't mention it!


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Not a done deal??

Daniel Defoe 123 weeks ago

But something not unadjacent to it. As you infer JI and Mr T, only a Bidder with very long pockets and spadesful of blind optimism is going to waste any time on this procurement. But then I guess the procurement plan for this was thoroughly scrutinised by the Trusts' legal advisers to ensure there couldn't possibly be any sort of challenge...


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A weak hand well played

just_instantiate 123 weeks ago

Let's not be too hard on the framers of this procurement. They've got to play the legal game and all the potential vendors know exactly what's what. The stark reality is that a decade ago the NHS dealt itself a very weak hand even though it could see all the cards.


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How many tenders?

mrtablet 123 weeks ago

"..all nine trusts could - in theory - choose a different supplier"

So any supplier competing might 'win' anything between 1 and 9 sites drawn from 9....

I make that 511 scenarios each supplier must examine before entering the contest.

Only in the NHS ... sigh.


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Possibility of each Trust going with a different supplier?

Daniel Defoe 123 weeks ago

If there's a possibility of each Trust going with a different supplier, I'm wondering what sort of procurement this is, and what the evaluation criteria are? Does anybody have any information on how this procurement is supposed to work if that is so?


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Done deal?

John Harry 123 weeks ago

Assuming that these Trusts are satisified with Cerner as their healthcare IT supplier what is wrong with a "done deal"? Healthcare IT is not a commodity product like syringes or diesel fuel. There are vast differences in both the capabilities and quality of healthcare IT from different suppliers as we have seen from the national program.


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What is wrong with a "done deal"?

Daniel Defoe 123 weeks ago

Well, nothing. Except the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 expressly forbids that happening. Whether that's a good thing or not is moot; but it's the law, whether it's syringes, diesel fuel or healthcare (or any other) IT. When healthcare is privatised (as the doom-mongers keep telling us is already happening), then "done deals" are perfectly allowable, so perhaps that's an argument in favour of privatisation?


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"Attorneys"

Daniel Defoe 123 weeks ago

John, "attorneys" sort of suggests that you might be thinking of the situation in the US where the "Public Contracts Regulations" (where they are relevant to healthcare) are slightly different. I wouldn't necessarily bank on the Trusts having taken any legal advice on their procurement - yet.


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Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

John Harry 123 weeks ago

I suspect the Trusts' attorneys have given advise that the procruement complies with the requirements of law.


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Sticking to the line

just_instantiate 123 weeks ago

I suppose it would be unbecoming to say "Cerner, name your price", but the key words, certainly for the live sites, are "in theory".


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