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Monday 17th June 2019

£4.6m spent on IT 'crisis' at North Bristol

18th July 2012

An NHS trust ran up a bill of £4.6m as it endeavoured to resolve problems surrounding its implementation of Cerner Millennium.

North Bristol NHS Trust went live with Millennium before the outpatient or theatre builds were complete.

This triggered a crisis which took five months to resolve and led to clinicians raising concerns publicly about disruption to patient care.

PricewaterhouseCoopers was called in to conduct an independent review of the deployment and found the trust failed to identify the implementation as a change programme and pointed out that there were also issues with the software and data migration, staff training and operational go-live planning.

In a lesson learned from the “go-live” trust chief executive Marie-Noelle Orzel said that the organisation will now create an independent programme management office that will “rigorously challenge” the management of all projects.

North Bristol went live with Millennium in December 2011 following go-lives at Royal United Hospital Bath and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust but the PricewaterhouseCoopers report identified weakness in the approach of the trust board and th Cerner programme board, which was made up of trust executives and representatives from Cerner, BT and NHS Connecting for Health.

The document states: “It did not plan to have, and did not receive, independent assurance that the state of the programme supported a decision to go-live.”

Problems included old and new systems not mirroring each other with no controls to detect this, clinics with abnormal timings and dates on the PAS and Cerner systems misaligned, giving patients wrong details of appointments.


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