21 casualties of the NHS National Programme for IT collaborate to procure solutions

Southern trusts club together to lead widespread rollout of healthcare technology

A network of 21 acute trusts has been formed in the South of England to lead the deployment of electronic healthcare systems after being left in the lurch following the death of the NHS National Programme for IT.

Poorly served by the national rollout, which left 60% of the trusts without vital systems, the organisations will create six procurement groups dedicated to investing in a range of technologies including e-Prescribing, clinical portal and patient administration systems.

The collaboration, known as the South Acute Programme, has applied for central funding for the venture as part of the Department of Healthís intention to provide cash to enable trusts to procure locally rather than through a national platform. This cash is vital, the collaboration says, to ensuring all trusts have equal access to joined-up solutions.

The trusts also considered purchasing the systems through the NHS's Additional Supply Capability and Capacity framework, but did not get the technology they needed.

As a result, they held three events in July where IT suppliers were invited to showcase their products to clinicians, managers and other staff involved in the initiative.

The events were designed to enable the NHS staff involved in specifying, buying or using the new technologies to see what was available before the formal procurement process begins.

The six groups and their requirements are as follows:

  • Group A: Salisbury, Poole, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch, Southern, Portsmouth, Royal Surrey, and University Hospitals Bristol are seeking e-Prescribing and medicines administration systems
  • Group B: Queen Victoria, East Sussex and Western Sussex are seeking e-Prescribing, clinical documentation, order communications, and an integrated clinical portal
  • Group C: South Devon, Torbay and South Devon Care, South West Ambulance Service, Rowcroft Hospice and Southern Devon GP practices (via commissioners) are seeking e-Prescribing systems
  • Group D: Dartford and Gravesham, Medway, East Kent Hospitals and Maidstone are seeking patient administration systems, e-Prescribing, a clinical portal, and maternity systems
  • Group E: Gloucestershire Hospitals, Northern Devon Healthcare, and Yeovil District Hospital want PAS+, ePX, pharmacy/pharmacy stock control, clinical documentation, order communications, clinical portal, theatres, A&E, and maternity systems
  • Group F: Frimley Park Hospital, Ashford and St Peterís Hospital, Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals want clinical documentation/EDM technology

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