NHS trust signs 10-year contract with System C

The deal will see the trust's current PAS and other clinical and departmental systems be replaced.
By Leontina Postelnicu
03:32 AM

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust will be replacing its Lorenzo patient administration system from DXC Technology after awarding a 10-year contract to British health IT services and solutions supplier System C.

The trust, located in England's West Midlands, provides acute hospital and community health services to around 270,000 people in Walsall and its vicinity.

The contract will see the current PAS and other clinical and departmental systems be replaced, based on System C’s global digital exemplar (GDE) blueprint, developed with the supplier’s partner in the national flagship programme, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

THE LARGER TREND

The GDE initiative was launched in 2016 by then health secretary Jeremy Hunt in a response to a review of NHS IT carried out by Professor Bob Wachter, with 12 trusts initially selected to take part and receiving up to £10m to drive the digital transformation of the NHS.

The programme has been expanded in the past three years, although rumours surfaced earlier this year that it could be cut, ahead of the launch of a new unit for digital, data and technology, NHSX.

Matthew Gould, NHSX chief executive, later said that the GDE scheme would continue, but with “more emphasis on the parts of the NHS that need most help”.

WHY IT MATTERS

The new systems at Walsall are expected to go live in the next year, and CCIO Dr Muhammad Shabab Javed said the trust had “high aspirations for digital transformation”.

According to Darren Fradgley, director of strategy and improvement for Walsall Healthcare, in a survey carried out before the new contract was awarded, looking at the use of hospital IT systems, staff said they “would happily embrace new technologies that the market has to offer”.

“This gave us the mandate for change, and since then the clinical voice has been very strong,” Fradgley added.

Meanwhile, System C revealed that the project will support an integrated health and care record being developed for the area through the Walsall Together Partnership, through which local NHS organisations are working together to “transform” the delivery of health and social care amid growing pressures.

ON THE RECORD

“We selected System C because their products are really high quality, because their blueprint gives us a clear route towards a full EPR and because they have a strong and clear approach to genuine partnership,” Fradgley explained.

“It was really important that we selected a technology partner that had a proven track record of successful deployments. Our teams are looking forward to working together on this project.” 

Markus Bolton, joint chief executive of System C, added: “Walsall is an ambitious trust with lots of energy, and we are delighted to have been selected as their partner in this project.”