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The East Midlands region could soon be the first to procure a single electronic patient record system across all its acute trusts, in line with the national ambition to reduce the number of systems in use.

Five of the eight trusts in the East Midlands Acute Providers Network have already procured British-based company Nervecentre’s EPR solution, while two other trusts are currently undertaking their own EPR procurements.

But despite the national directive to converge EPRs, the chief information officer of one of the trusts says the region is experiencing “convergence by serendipity” as opposed to an intentional plan to share a single EPR.

University Hospitals Derby and Burton chief digital information officer Will Monaghan said the “serendipitous moment” has provided the region with an opportunity to “think more strategically” about collaboration, including greater opportunities for data sharing, research and innovation.

Three of the trusts in the network are part of a hospital group led by CEO Richard Mitchell.

He told HSJ the prospect of having a single EPR in place across the region has the potential to “unlock radical ambitions”.

He said: “Frontline digitisation is now within reach, and by working together we will transform the patient, colleague and training experience in our region.”

Doubling up

A former national director and long-time hospital chair is moving on to lead two neighbouring integrated care boards, it has been announced.

Kathy McLean, already Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB chair, has been appointed to the same role for Derby and Derbyshire ICB.

The ex-NHS Improvement medical director and chief operating officer will become the first to chair two neighbouring ICBs since they were established in law in July 2022.

Dr McLean cited the potential for “additional synergy and opportunity” across the two ICBs – the joint chair role is linked to the development of a combined authority across the two counties.

With populations of 1.1 million and 1.3 million respectively, the Derbyshire and Notts ICBs are slightly smaller than the 1.5 million average – although they are larger than most in the Midlands.

Dr McLean is leaving her chair position at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Foundation Trust in May, having been in the position since 2019.

Meanwhile, terms for her other non-executive director roles at Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge trusts also come to an end in March.

Also during her 40-year career, Dr McLean has worked as a consultant specialising in geriatrics and stroke medicine.

Also on today

Nearly two years after NHS England’s “technology convergence” policy, Nick Carding in The Download asks to what extent trusts have pursued this ambition, and we report on an ambulance trust that has been removed from the support programme formerly known as special measures.