Details of how controversial deals under which the Department of Health is expected to fund IT systems for NHS trusts have been identified by HSJ, with one trust seeking around £10m, HSJ has learned.
The agreements are likely to see the DH foot the bill for trusts to buy CSC’s Lorenzo Regional Care IT system, and then hand them up to £4m to contribute to deployment costs and as “incentive” payments.
HSJ understands around five trusts have applied for the deal. Until now they have refused to disclose how much funding they are asking for and DH has refused to disclose how much funding it has set aside for the arragements.
However, Ipswich Hospital Trust’s business case for the work has now been published. It will be considered by the trust board on 28 March.
The plan (see box), which will be considered by DH officials on 4 April, sets out £13.8m worth of “central-provided funding” which the trust will ask for. It will also make a small contribution from its own funds.
A trust spokeswoman told HSJ that, providing the plans were approved by the board, the trust would ask for £9.7m of “external support”. She said other figures in the plan were “variable”, and open to change.
The Ipswich business plan for Lorenzo
The plan says it will bid for up to £3.1m of funding to support the deployment of the system and a further £1m from the “Lorenzo Incentive Fund”.
The trust estimates there will be £5m worth of “deployment charges” and £4.7m worth of “service charges” payable to CSC by DH over the coming years.
The plan said: “The Lorenzo deployment will be supported with the following centrally-provided funding: £4,998,344 CSC deployment charges; £ 4,706,160 service charges; up to £3,100,000 deployment support and £1,000,000 Lorenzo Incentive Fund (20% payable on approval of the investment case).”
“Charges for [Lorenzo] will then be paid to CSC directly by the DoH when [Lorenzo] has been deployed.”
The trust, which has committed to contribute £294,690 in capital, said it intends to retain the service for a further five years following the period of initial funding support at a cost of £750,000 per year.
Meanwhile, a Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust financial plan published in January (see attached) revealed the trust intended to bid for between £3m and £4m.
It said: “Approval of our Lorenzo business case by [DH] would trigger funding support of £3m - £4m over a two year period.”
Meanwhile, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust confirmed to HSJ it has had its business case signed off by the DH.
A spokesman for Tameside Hospital said: “Approval was confirmed earlier this month following a presentation of the trust’s business case to the NHS Programme Board responsible for managing Lorenzo deployments.”
Similar bids are being developed by Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust and George Eliot Trust. HSJ understands they will be asking for funding of similar levels to Ipswich and Hull and East Yorks.
The deal, part of the government’s attempts to dismantle the widely criticised National Programme for IT, has already attracted concern from Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
As exclusively revealed by HSJ, Ms Hodge had planned to quiz NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, although she has yet to do so.