A consortium of 12 Welsh trusts has awarded a £13. 5m contract to McKesson HBOC and Oracle to run all their financial applications for eight years. As well as replacing legacy systems, the deal will simplify reporting to the Welsh Assembly. McKesson HBOC will run existing payroll systems for 17 trusts and two health authorities, pending a decision on a national payroll and human resources system.

Norweb Telecom has won the contract to provide a high-capacity network to support NHS Direct in Lancashire and Cumbria. The service covers 1. 9 million people from a central call centre in Preston and linked sites in Blackburn, Kendal and Carlisle.

ICL has won a four-year,£18m contract to design, build and operate the IT infrastructure required to support the new National Care Standards Commission. The commission will operate through eight regional offices and 70 local sites and requires IT, telephony and videoconferencing facilities for 2,000 people.

North East Lincolnshire trust has signed a deal with Direct Visual to install 12 videoconferencing systems on three sites so clinical staff delivering the trust's cancer services can share information without travelling to meetings.

Videophones designed and made by Motion Media are being installed at the international eHospital in Pristina, Kosovo - established by the Medical Informatics Technology Consortium to support medical training and remote consultations. The videophones will be linked to Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, the department of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, home to MITC, and hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Northgate Information Solutions has signed a deal with West Lothian Healthcare trust to market and further develop a community health information system created by trust staff.

The Express Community software will be provided free to trusts in Scotland.

Forth Valley primary care trust has chosen iSOFT's PiMS patient information management system to help create an electronic patient record across primary and secondary care. The£1m contact will replace existing systems used by 4,000 clinicians dealing with 1 million patient contacts a year.

Essex social services will use CARE PASS, a smartcard system developed by Adicarte Technology and Gemplus that details care services to be delivered and received. Details can be accessed using a hand-held reader that can also record activity and travel details.

Smartcard technology is being explored by North West regional office. It is working with TSSI on smartcards to record health information about surgeons that can be checked by hospitals in which they work. The pass-code protected system is being piloted at Halton Hospital in Runcorn.

West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service has introduced a telemedicine scheme that provides 24-hour monitoring, treatment and reassurance for patients with severe respiratory conditions. It was developed by the Pontefract emergency respiratory team and Tunstall Group Ltd.