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Cerner blamed for £7.2m deficit

6th November 2008

The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust says its £7.2m deficit is mainly down to problems with Cerner Millennium Care Records System.

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In the last three months, the trust has posted a £3.2m loss attributed to the CRS system installed by BT.

The trust, the first organisation to take the London cluster version of Millennium, reveals that implementation costs have soared and the system has not been about to offer reliable data.

A knock-on has been under-utilisation of theatre time, reduced activity and clinical efficiency meaning less income.

The trust’s board papers say: "The committee was informed that the majority of the adverse variance to budget was due to the implementation of Cerner. The shortfall comprises a number of issues where costs and losses have been incurred over the implementation plan."

The Royal Free has had to bring in extra staff to deal with the problems.

The board report comments on reliability issues with concerns over the "stability of the system" causing "clinical efficiency to fall."

It has also emerged that the system supplied to the Royal Free differed from the system staff were trained on.

The trust also expects "some degree of losses to continue."

BT has declined to comment on the finances of individual NHS Trusts but a spokesman said "some additional costs are to be expected when implementing a system in an environment as complex as a large London teaching hospital."

 

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