Eighteen organisations have expressed an interest in the massive London patient administration system and electronic patient record tender issued earlier in the year.
The tender, worth between £250m and £400m, was placed by nine trusts that are running Cerner Millennium or that look like candidates to do so because of trust mergers or the system’s adoption in other parts of their health economy.
It was divided into three lots; a PAS/EPR system, a clinical portal and hosting services.
An NHS London spokesperson said 18 organisations had responded to the pre-qualification questionnaire and potential bidders represented a good cross-section of service providers.
“We are confident it will provide a varied range of choice from which trusts can select the provider that best meets their individual needs,” the spokesperson said.
“The PQQ’s will be fully evaluated during the next month and then a number of potential bidders will be shortlisted for the invitation to tender stage. It is anticipated that the ITT will be issued to those shortlisted at the end of July 2012.”
NHS London hopes to complete the award of framework contracts by the middle of next year, so trusts can select their individual suppliers and award call-off contracts during the second half of 2013.
This should allow plenty of time to plan, manage and deliver any transition that may be required in time for the end of the contracts placed by the National Programme for IT in the NHS in 2015, the spokesperson said.
Commenters on the eHealth Insider website have also suggested the procurement is most likely a “done deal” for Cerner and that this may deter other suppliers from bidding. However, NHS London still says it is keen to hear from a range of suppliers and is open to all options.
Shortly after the tender was issued, 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.
“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,” he explained.
The trusts involved are: Barts and the London; Croydon Healthcare; Imperial College Healthcare; Kingston Healthcare; Newham University Hospital; Royal Free Hampstead; South London Healthcare; St George’s Healthcare; and Whipps Cross University Hospital.
EHI put a Freedom of Information Act request to all nine trusts asking for all documentation produced in preparation for the EPR tender, including their business cases.
Whipps Cross University and Croydon Health Services said they had not yet prepared business cases and had no other documents associated with the tender.
St George’s, Newham University and Imperial College Healthcare withheld the information, saying that because the tender process is underway, disclosure could prejudice commercial interests.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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