BT gets 8 NHS trusts in south
Connecting for Health gets hooked up
NHS Connecting for Health has agreed that BT will take responsibility for the Cerner Millennium installations at eight acute trusts in the south of England.
The NHS National Programme for IT has lacked a local service provider in the south of England since CfH fired Fujitsu in May 2008.
"NHS Connecting for Health can confirm that an extension to BT's contract has been agreed which will enable them to take over the live Cerner Millennium sites in the South," said a CfH spokesperson. "Further details will be shared next week."
"BT can confirm it has signed a contract to take over the running of IT systems at eight acute trusts in the south of England as part of its NHS national programme work," said the company.
"This takeover was not unexpected," said Victor Almeida, a senior analyst at Kable. "BT is currently implementing a version of Cerner in the London cluster and thus is best positioned to run the sites.
"The big question is what will happen to the remaining trusts in the South, "he added. "Will they opt for BT, will they resort to Lorenzo software provided by the CSC Alliance in the North, where there are several out-of-cluster agreements within the NPfIT, or will they wait for offers from new software suppliers?"
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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Acknowledging the end of joined up records?
While I have a lot of sympathy for the hospital trusts which have already installed Millennium, what has happened to the strategic aspects?
After all, the aim of the NPfIT was to provide interoperable single records - or at any rate, Detailed Care Records - defined as single records used by all the organisations providing care in a locality, and enabling communication of records between general practice, community and Trusts to prevent duplication and increase patient safety.
The ability to share information locally - with explicit patient consent - is needed to support new ways of working, and Liverpool is an example of this - completely outside either CfH or the LSP, CSC: it uses EMIS Web and is driven and developed by local needs and initiatives.
The objectives of sharing appropriate parts of records with explicit patient consent can be put into practice without single shared records or even Detailed Care Records.
The Lorenzo Regional Care concept - where all organisations use Lorenzo as their record of prime entry - doesn't seem to have been adopted in London or Southern, so it looks as though it is only in NME that you run the risk of having your records in a single shared record - currently TPP SystmOne and soon, if CSC is to be believed, Lorenzo - with all the problems that introduces such as data quality (very important: known case of podiatrist entering diabetes - and no-one else able to remove it even though demonstrably false) and medication management, let alone confidentiality for the patient.
Now if you have Lorenzo - not planned to interoperate with anyone else or TPP - with a reputation of lack of interest in any form of interoperability - in NME, Millennium which does not, AFAIAA, have facilities or plans for interoperability with any primary care records - in London and 8 Trusts in Southern, where does that leave the grand strategy?
Given the total balls-up they've made of the patient appointment systems in Barnet & Chase Farm Hospital and Barnet PCT, I think I'll buy shares in BUPA.
Can BT be trusted?
But can we trust BT with this sensitive personal information?
They have a record of covert activity as an ISP, misleading customers and press, and engaging unauthorised interception of private internet communications. They are currently under investigation by CPS for alleged offences under RIPA, DPA, PECR, and MCA. The ICO has indicated that ther 2006 and 2007 trials of Phorm's Webwise/PageSense technology without customr consent were "in probable breach" of DPA.
They also do not have a very good record in terms of competence, given the leaks from their customer forums over the last twelve months, and their inability to manage secure cookies with customer online billing accounts.
And we are trusting these guys with sensitive health data, at the same time as they are planning to intercept the internet traffic of their broadband customers?
I would refer you to the customer forum pages where all this was discussed but nice trustworthy BT removed it all from public view in line with their declared policy of transparency - "you can see right through them".
Why not just save time, and invite some Chinese or Russian hackers directly to take the contract?