University Hospitals of Leicester seeks £600m partner for IT transformation

East Midlands trust advertises 15 year informatics deal which may involve other NHS organisations

University Hospitals of Leicester plans for a single partner for IT work.

Powered by article titled “University Hospitals of Leicester seeks £600m partner for IT transformation” was written by SA Mathieson, for on Friday 18th November 2011 08.00 UTC

University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) trust is looking for a commercial partner to transform IT and communications for itself and other local health service organisations.

It has published a framework tender worth up to £600m over 15 years for a “managed business partner for IM&T transformation”. Its own IT spending of £13m a year would account for nearly a third of this, although the deal will extend to its unified communications and extra transformational work. It does not currently have a major ICT provider.

Dr Abigail Tierney told Guardian Healthcare Network that UHL hopes to be joined by other healthcare providers in its area, such as GPs and community health services, or by other acute trusts – either nearby or further afield. “There’s a very detailed business case that takes us up to that number (of £600m) through a number of scenarios,” she said, adding that the trust has already held discussions with others.

“If there was just one other acute trust, it could reach £600m,” Tierney added. She said that two large acute trusts would represent a significant part of the health service’s ICT spending, pointing out that an existing joint venture for pathology services with UHL’s neighbour Nottingham University Hospitals trust has taken 5% of the market in England.

UHL may consider spinning out the resulting organisation to act as a shared services provider across the health service. Tierney described this as “aspirational”, adding: “Our main aim is to transform how we deliver patient care in UHL and with our immediate partners.”

Tierney said that the trust currently uses more than 300 IT systems, and that many will need replacing in the near future. The trust intends to procure a new electronic patient records (EPR) system, but only after it has appointed a partner through this contract, with the aim of becoming a “paper light” organisation.

She added that UHL is six months into a major facilities management (FM) procurement, worth up to £700m over seven years. The first lot of this covers FM services including catering and cleaning, but the second aims to transform the trust’s estate, moving services from its acute sites – Leicester Royal infirmary, Glenfield hospital and Leicester general hospital – to its 10 community hospitals.

Tierney said the tertiary services are growing, particularly in caring for elderly patients, but the hospital lacks the necessary space and needs to reconfigure the services.

She said that UHL expects “some similar bidders” for the second, transformational FM lot and the new ICT framework. These two areas are expected to provide the focus of its planned savings of £200m over the next five years.

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