Three large NHS hospital trusts in the South of England have signed a deal to take Cerner Millennium from BT as part of the NHS National Programme for IT.
North Bristol NHS Trust, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust signed a new deal with BT last Thursday, after the DH received Treasury approval for the deal.
EHI understands that the new ‘greenfield’, or ‘S3’, contract involves up to £60m of central funding across the three trusts, matched by a similar level of local funding by the trusts themselves.
The central funding element will come from unspent, or ‘recovered’, funds remaining after the termination of Fujitsu’s LSP deal in the South two years ago.
What is unclear is how the deal differs from the £546m contract awarded to BT a year ago to take over support of the eight Fujitsu implemented Cerner sites; deliver 25 RiOs; and provide four new greenfield installations of Cerner in the south.
A DH spokesperson said: “I can confirm that we have successfully concluded negotiation with BT for three greenfield sites.”
Asked why a new contract had been awarded, apparently for the same work as last year’s contract, the spokesperson said: “It was outlined in the CCN1 South contract last year”.
A spokesperson for Royal United Hospital Bath told EHI: The Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust has opted to deploy the Cerner Millennium system. This will replace existing legacy systems used by the trust and will enable the organisation to move towards the implementation of the full Electronic Patient Record (EPR) in the future."
On site preparation work for implementations beginning in May is already said to be underway at the three trusts. The target date for implementation is understood to be end of 2010.
North Bristol has been desperate to ensure that it will get the new IT system for use in its new PFI-build hospital, currently under construction.
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, meanwhile, aims to use IT to underpin modernisation efforts as it grapples with financial recovery, trying to achieve Foundation Trust status and recover from the bitter disappointment of failing to be selected as an academic medical centre.
Taking over as chief executive of Oxford Radcliffe next month will be Sir Jonathan Michaels, lately head of BT Health.
RUH Bath has been waiting for Millennium for almost four years. The trust had been due to be next to get the system when Fujitsu’s contract was axed in April 2008.
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