• Manchester University FT names US firm Epic as its preferred provider of contract advertised to be worth £400m over 10 years
  • Trust previously appeared to favour rolling out different EPR already being used on its sites in south Manchester 
  • Rolling out existing system was previously thought to offer “better value for money”

A large NHS trust has chosen US firm Epic as its preferred bidder for an electronic patient record, despite previously suggesting a different option would give “better value for money”.

Manchester University Foundation Trust has named Epic as its preferred provider of a contract that was advertised to be worth £400m over 10 years.

The trust had previously appeared to favour rolling out an EPR already being used on its sites in south Manchester, provided by another US firm called Allscripts.

Allscripts was installed following a major procurement decision taken by the former University Hospital of South Manchester FT in 2015.

But in 2017, UHSM merged with Central Manchester University Hospitals FT — which used another system called Chameleon, partly built in-house — to form the new trust.

Following a review of IT across the sites, MFT decided to carry out a procurement process for an integrated system.

In submissions to the government requesting loan funding to initiate the project, MFT’s leaders indicated the Allscripts system in south Manchester would be rolled out across the trust.

The submission said: “One of the outcomes (of an options appraisal) was to investigate a procurement of the Allscripts acute EPR, which is currently being implemented at UHSM.

“This represents better value for money over ten years than either the “Do minimum” or the option of implementing a new integrated EPR and PAS system from another supplier (eg. Epic).”

Although the contract was advertised at £400m over 10 years, MFT has not stated the value and length of the deal agreed with Epic.

If the agreement is signed, MFT will follow University College London Hospitals FT and Cambridge University Hospitals FT in procuring the Epic system.

An MFT spokeswomen said: “We can confirm that Epic is the preferred bidder for our future EPR solution, subject to completion and approval of a full business case.

“This follows a full competitive dialogue procurement process which began in August 2018 and has involved a robust process assessing functionality to suit MFT’s complex organisational needs.”

The trust declined to explain why it had chosen Epic, or answer questions about the scale of the project.

 

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