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Pennine Care ditches Lorenzo

15 April 2011   Jon Hoeksma

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust has withdrawn from taking the Lorenzo electronic patient record system from local service provider CSC.

The move casts fresh doubts about the future of the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

Pennine was meant to be the last of four ‘early adopter’ trusts taking Lorenzo from CSC; the LSP for the North, Midlands and East of England.

Installation at Pennine would enable CSC to belatedly meet contractual commitments and unlock milestone payments. Without Pennine, CSC would appear no longer able to fulfil these commitments.

EHI understands that the decision was formally announced today by John Archer, chief executive of Pennine Care, at a meeting with representatives of CSC and NHS Connecting for Health.

A joint trust and DH statement to EHI said: "The delays of the mental health functionality within Lorenzo are very regrettable and the recent decision by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to withdraw from the Lorenzo Early Adopter Programme was taken after long and careful consideration by the trust. It will now consider other options available in the wider market."

Failure to deliver Lorenzo at Pennine by February left CSC in breach of its contract with NHS Connecting for Health, and the remediation plan that had been agreed.

Asked the CSC contract position last week, ahead of Pennine's withdrawal, Christine Connelly told EHI: “CSC have given us a remediation plan, they failed to meet it, the national programme board will now make a recommendation for the Secretary of State to decide on.”

As recently as last week CSC told EHI they hoped the trust would go live a matter of weeks. The reasons for the apparent change of mind are not clear. CSC is in the middle of buying iSoft, the company behind Lorenzo, for £117m.

As previously reported by EHI Pennine Care has long harboured doubts on the wisdom of taking Lorenzo, and had withdrawn only to subsequently be persuaded to rethink its position.

In October 2010 EHI reported that Pennine was on the brink of abandoning its Lorenzo implementation, based on concerns on the difficulties of implementing the system. In January the trust postponed implementation of Lorenzo Care management until June.

Since 2009 Pennine Care has been slated to become the crucial fourth ‘early adopter’ NHS trust to take Lorenzo from CSC. Implementing Lorenzo a four sites is the contract threshold that will unlock ‘key bundle milestone (KBM)’ payments to CSC and provide it with authority to deploy more widely in the NHS.

“They are pivotal to the whole key bundle milestone,” said a source only willing to speak anonymously.

The joint statement said: "The Department will continue ongoing discussions with CSC."

Lorenzo has so far been implemented at three ‘early adopter’ sites: University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay, Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Bury Primary Care Trust.

Pennine was originally meant to go live on November 2009, then June 2010, then late summer 2010, then 7 February 2011 - all dates missed. No new date has since been set, though the trust was working towards a summer target. “The date was a kind of secret,” said the source.

Read EHI's editorial on where Pennine Care's departure leaves the CSC negotiations.


Related Articles:

12 News: DH considers CSC contract termination | 10 February 2011
5 News: DH: CSC 'unlikely' to hit new deadline | 3 February 2011
8 News: Lorenzo “not yet stable” says Connelly | 18 November 2010
1 News: Pennine on brink of dropping Lorenzo | 11 October 2010
8 News: Pennine Care delays Lorenzo R1.9 | 27 January 2010
Last updated: 21 April 2011 15:40

© 2011 EHealth Media.


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Bound to happen

Selyod 156 weeks ago

I don't work at Pennine Care but I know members of the NHS team that worked extensively and exhaustively with CSC and iSoft on the LRC product. I think they've taken a brave decision to drop the product as it just wasn't fit for purpose. They may, in some peoples opinions, have "dragged their feet" but that just means they stuck with it and tried to get the thing to work! They could have dropped it some time ago but chose to work alongside the suppliers and get it working. They travelled to India twice to work on it as well as what seems like every other weekend in the office.

Good luck to them - it is a shame if this causes redundancies but that is business for you.


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Too many cooks

CertaCitrus 157 weeks ago

I think that was a very apt comment by the previous poster. In addition the lines of communication were long probably far too long for specialities with more complex data rules such as mental health.


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Difficult times ahead?

Lola123 157 weeks ago

Yes Pennine were diligent at testing and yes they did not want to accept a solution that was not "fit for purpose".

Were they willing to be a true Early Adopter Trust - probably not, did they actually EVER want to go live with Lorenzo - probably not.

I have seen first hand how hard the CSC and iSoft teams work and that this really does matter to them.

I am sadly certain that there will be redundancies on all sides - not sure how many people are employed in Lorenzo Deployment across organisations but you can bet this is well over a thousand - absolutely not something to gloat about in my opinion.

Perhaps another MH Trust will step up - I hope so!


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Drag on?

Dave Kelsall 157 weeks ago

I don't work at Pennine but having worked alongside them from time to time I can assure the previous poster that Pennine haven't let anything drag on.

Like the rest of us who stayed on the Lorenzo bus, they invested considerable time and money into trying to get this turkey to fly. In my opinion, Pennine have been diligent in their end user testing and, unlike other Early Adopters, have refused to deploy a product which in their view wasn't fit for purpose.

By my reckoning there is now only one MH Trust still interested in taking Lorenzo (I would imagine they will need to privately discuss with Pennine exactly why they pulled out before deciding what to do next) and no Acute Trusts outside the Early Adopters.

I have friends at Pennine, iSoft and CSC and feel for anyone who may be facing redundancy through no fault of their own. CSC now need to do the decent thing and cut their losses by scrapping Lorenzo. It could have been a world-beating application but between the launch of Release One and now something went horribly wrong. Too many cooks perhaps?


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Spare a thought..

Abu El Banat 157 weeks ago

Whilst some will, no doubt, rejoice in this news spare a thought for the hard working folks at iSoft who, after putting in a lot of effort into trying to make this all work for the benefit of the community as a whole now face a very uncertain future...there but for the Grace of God and all that eh?


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At Last Good News

Gibbs 157 weeks ago

At last, the programme can now move forward. Now trusts that do want Lorenzo can step up. Such a pity that Pennine let matters drag on so long and just held eveyone back.


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The end?

John Harry 157 weeks ago

Is that the grim reaper I see sneaking up behind CSC and Lorenzo?


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Re: The end?

mrtablet 157 weeks ago

The end for Lorenzo? How many times has that been said over the past seven years?

Now CSC has iSoft's huge non-NPfIT installed UK base of lab systems, PAS and GP systems in its hand.

That's three extra aces they hold against an NHS negotiating team seemingly incapable of asserting itself on behalf of the patient, taxpayer or NHS staff.

The Lorenzo zombie could thus stagger onwards with CfH's warm if insincere endorsement.

If anyone calls time on Lorenzo I predict it will be CSC - since they now have some secondary care systems actually fit for deployment in their portfolio.


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Only a matter of time

WLMD 157 weeks ago

It was only a matter of time, but hats off to Pennine regardless for their long persistence and now their bravery in taking a decision which will no doubt cause difficulties in the short term, but hopefully pay off in the long term. CSC - You only have yourselves to blame.


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