TPP has been awarded a long-awaited contract to provide a centrally funded IT system to nine community and child health organisations in the South.
A tender worth £28m was issued in August to provide a system for community providers previously covered by the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity programme.
ASCC was meant to provide community and child health systems, infrastructure and systems for acute trusts, and IT for ambulance trusts that otherwise got nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.
EHealth Insider revealed in February 2011 that CSC was tipped to win the ASCC community and child health contract, which would have seen CSC supply 17 trusts in the South with TPP’s community system.
However, all three ASCC procurements collapsed late last year and the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme emerged as an alternative.
EHI can reveal that TPP is again the preferred system for community and child health providers and the company will be sub-contracting with Accenture to provide capacity for deployment. The system will be hosted by CSC.
The project is now awaiting final sign-off by central government before funds are released. Each trust must get final board approval, then will sign individual contracts with TPP.
NHS South East Coast chief information officer and procurement lead, Tad Matus, said it had taken a long time to get to this point and trusts are impatient to implement the new system.
The contract covers support for the full range of services that a community organisation will be delivering, including community hospitals and some minor injury units.
Matus expected the first trust to sign a contract in February next year and deployments to begin early in the financial year.
“They are in a position to sign contracts now, but we expect them to wait until the release of national funding. As soon as that happens everybody can sign as soon as their boards are ready and can plan to start deploying as soon as they are ready to,” he added.
Central government funding will cover supplier costs - hosting, deployment and licenses - for four years and each organisationcan extend their contracts independently for another three years.
Matus said the business case that has gone back to the Department of Health and Cabinet Office for approval identifies increased benefits and lower costs for the project.
The tender document released in April said the total value of nine contracts was £28m excluding VAT.
Matus said the tender attracted 40 expressions of interest and TPP came out top from a rigorous assessment process.
He explained that approval of the community and child health procurement is significant for the other three Southern programmes applying for central funding; ambulance, acute and integration.
The community project did the groundwork of negotiating how the processes would work for all the procurements and demonstrated the affordability and benefits of the whole package of deployments in the South., he said
The remaining procurements should now be able to progress through the central government process “at speed” and the ambulance procurement is expected to be approved soon.
“It’s great for community and child health, but it’s also very much a green light for the whole Southern Local Clinical System procurements,” said Matus.
“It has taken a rather long time to get to this point so I think now everybody is quite impatient to finally be able to turn this into a reality and make sure clinicians and patients are really benefiting from it."
The nine organisations in line to get TPP are; Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust; NHS Gloucestershire; Plymouth Community Healthcare CIC; Kent Community Health NHS Trust (child health only); Sussex Community NHS Trust; East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust; Care & Support Partnership CIC; Sirona Care & Health CIC; and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (child health) together with community services at Peninsula Community Health CIC.