The Department of Health has signed a one year extension of picture archiving and communications systems contract with Accenture, covering the North, Midlands and East.
The nationally negotiated deal extends to June 2014 the provision of PACS services to an estimated 31 trusts in the North, Midlands and East that have decided to remain with Accenture
Under the contract extension Accenture will also continue to manage the central data store, which provides NHS trusts in the NME region with a centrally-hosted and long-term image archive, until June 2016.
Accenture’s PACS is a community-wide system that is used to electronically capture, view, store and distribute medical imaging such as x-rays digitally.
The NPfIT PACS contracts come to an end in 2013 in the NME and 2014 in London and the South, where BT has responsibility. A growing number of trusts have already gone out to tender for new systems, with some working in local consortia.
Mark Radvanyi, PR director for Accenture, told eHealth Insider that the contract extension will allow trusts to postpone costs that would otherwise be incurred for ‘data localisation’ – the process of moving their imaging history in-house or to other providers.
“For trusts moving away in 2013 and 2014, we will continue to allow them to store their data on our central data store. This would have given them enough time to put in place a storage option, be that at the trust, on a cloud-based system or with another provider,” he said.
The company has provided a 24/7 managed PACS service for the NHS since 2005 under the National Programme for IT.
Accenture retained the PACS contract after it cut its losses and withdrew from £2 billion of National Programme for IT local service provider contracts for the North East and East of England in September 2006. CSC subsequently took over responsibility as LSP for the two regions.
In additional to trust-led collaborative procurements NHS Supply Chain has also launched a procurement worth up to £363m in the hope of creating a single national framework for picture archiving and communication systems and radiology information systems.
Radvanyi told EHI that the system would be available for all of the trusts in the NME and that the value of the contract extension would depend on the “uptake from trusts”.
“We are confident that many trusts will decide to extend their contracts with Accenture and we hope to have more announcements regarding those PACS contracts soon,” he said.
While declining to say how many trusts had so far signed the Accenture spokesperson indicated it was so far in excess of two-thirds of the total.
Accenture is to continue working closely with Agfa HealthCare, the software supplier for PACS and the central data store, and Hitachi Data Systems, which supplies storage for the store, to deliver the service.
"PACS is an excellent example of how technology is helping to improve patient care by providing clinicians with easy access to medical images and enabling them to make decisions more quickly,” said Matt Oakley who leads Accenture's medical images practice in the U.K. & Ireland.
"Accenture is committed to delivering best-in-class, cost-competitive medical imaging solutions over the long-term for the U.K.”
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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