Published: 24/01/2002, Volume II2, No. 5789 Page 12

Agresso has secured a£2m deal to set up a web-based financial and business information system in East Kent. From April, seven health organisations will share core services and staff in a bid to increase efficiency.

The Agresso system and managed service will form the core of this shared service.

The City Hospital trust in Birmingham has become the first in the country to deploy a fully web-based, Microsoft end-to-end, enterprisewide clinical system, according to suppliers iSOFT. The iSOFT Clinical Centre is now available in 40 wards, accident and emergency and outpatients.

Bradford Hospitals trust has purchased 10 AccuCheck Inform blood glucose systems from Roche.

Results will be recorded automatically and the instruments will interface with a new Roche DataCare critical care information system.

East Cheshire trust has installed a CrystalSign from Silvercases to direct outpatients to the relevant consultant. It is programmed using a Windows-based system.

McKesson has won the contract for a replacement patient administration system and new clinical applications at Bury Health Care trust and Rochdale Healthcare trust. The company will install its Med Trak PAS and applications for ordering tests, results reporting, electronic prescribing and online booking as part of the deal worth£2.9m over 11 years.Med Trak should go live in April, when a deal with another supplier expires.

Premier Computer Solutions helped Surrey Ambulance Service win first prize in the improving health with e-technology section of HSJ 's Health Management Awards. The ECMS On-Line system is a fully integrated health portal allowing GPs, A&E staff, nursing home and other medical staff to assess pressure on hospital and nursing-home beds, register at-risk patients and manage patient transport.

The oncology and colposcopy departments at Queen Mary's Sidcup trust have started using the MedWay clinical information system provided by System C Healthcare.MedWay captures a wide variety of patient data and makes it available within an electronic patient record, which can be accessed from any trust PC.

Ultrasis plc has announced that its subsidiary, Calm Corporation UK, has signed a£250,000, three-year deal with West Pennine health authority for its Calmheart NSF software, which has been designed to meet the guidelines of the coronary heart disease national service framework. Patient care plans initiated in secondary care settings can be sent to primary care over the web.

John Stewart Orr, emeritus professor of medical physics at London University, has died at the age of 71.He had an international reputation for his work in cell biology and clinical radiotherapy.He also deserves to be remembered for his important contribution to the use of computers in medicine.

His work on magnetic resonance imaging has had an important impact on healthcare across Europe. At Hammersmith Hospital, he also played a central role in the computerisation of many of the hospital's activities - helping to create an electronic patient record in the days before EPR.

Professor Orr was a gifted scientist, an excellent teacher and a talented administrator.

As many in the health service discovered, he was an excellent raconteur and an accomplished performer on the piano accordion, as well as an enthusiastic sailor, walker, climber and lover of single malt whiskeys.

In the late 1980s, at the end of a distinguished career, he became involved in the NHS's National Centre for Clinical Coding and Classification, at the start of the Read Version 3 project.

It became clear to him that Read had fundamental conceptual flaws and that the NHSCCC was not being run in a satisfactory way.He began by pointing out these problems inside the NHS Executive.When his criticisms were ignored, he alerted the wider clinical community to what was happening, and helped draw the attention of politicians and the wider public to a developing scandal. It is impossible to know how much time and money his intervention saved the NHS, but it was certainly considerable.

Professor Orr was brave, determined and a man of great integrity. Though he spent the great part of his life as a medical and administrative insider, he did not fear making his views public when he felt the need to do so.

A suitable tribute for such a man would be to ensure that IT reaches its full potential in the NHS.