Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust has signed a £107m IT contract with a company from Northern Ireland, replacing part of its “eHospital programme”.

The seven year deal with Novosco means the trust will ditch its £140m contract with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which was originally meant to run to 2020. 

The new contract will cover the introduction of new hardware, IT infrastructure, Wi-Fi, and cyber security, many of the same systems and services that HPE was contracted to provide.

In the past five years Cambridge University Hospitals has invested heavily in digital technology, primarily through its e-hospital programme.

The £200m programme formally began in April 2013, and included a £60m contract for the first UK deployment of the Epic electronic patient record. The system had significant teething problems when it went live in October 2014.

However, the bulk of the programme involves upgrading the trust’s outdated infrastructure, a role handed to HPE, which at the time was still part of Hewlett Packard, until it was spun off last year to become a separate company.

HPE’s £140m contract has a wide remit, including: upgrading hardware; deployment of business grade Wi-Fi; refreshing 6,750 PCs and 500 laptops; deploying 395 “workstations on wheels”; and 420 ”rover devices” for mobile working in clinical areas.

Following the Epic deployment, Monitor said it was investigating the trust’s finances in July 2015, and cited the eHospital programme as a potential area of concern.

HSJ has previously been told that the cost of the HPE contract had exceeded the trust’s original expectations.

However, the programme has also been credited with making Cambirdge one of the most digitally advanced trusts in the country, and one of 16 “global digital exemplar” acute trusts.

Novosco managing director Patrick McAliskey said: ”We look forward to working with CUH to help them further extend their digital platform and capabilities and to help them provide even better and safer care to patients.”

The trust’s medical and digital director Dr Jag Ahluwalia said: ”The further digital development of our hospital is central to improving care for our patients and providing a better experience for our staff.”