To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) if he will make a statement on the future of Cerner's products and services within the NHS IT system;
(2) in which NHS hospitals Cerner's Millennium product is working satisfactorily; and if he will make a statement on the expected roll out programme;
(3) if he will make an evaluation of the effectiveness of Cerner's Millennium system.
Cerner is the chosen subcontractor of two of the local service providers (LSPs) under the national programme for information technology in the national health service, Fujitsu in the South and BT in London, for the provision of secondary care systems.
In the South, six health communities have to date gone live with the Cerner Millennium system provided through the national programme. Each health community typically comprises an acute NHS trust and the associated primary care trust sites in its area. Details are provided in the following table.
|Trust name||Total users||Peak users||Average users||Go live date|
|Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust||880||700||450||25 September 2006|
|Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS Trust||2,000||980||420||24 February 2007|
|Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust||900||170||130||22 December 2005|
|Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust||2,875||620||400||20 April 2007|
|Weston Area Health NHS Trust||1,700||1,400||450||29 July 2006|
|Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust||1,821||980||360||10 February 2007|
To date, 1.4 million patient records have been entered in the systems in use in the South.
Five further systems are planned to go live in the South during 2007, 24 in 2008, and 19 in 2009. In London, three Millennium deployments are planned in 2007, the first, at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust, due to go live before the end of July, and a further four in 2008. Go live dates in each strategic health authority (SHA) area are determined by agreement with the NHS bodies concerned.
The Millennium system is a robust product built on modern architecture, with greater patient data security and stability than older systems. It is used in many other countries and currently has a worldwide patient base of some 100 million patients. The version of Millennium being deployed through the national programme is based on that purchased in 2005 by two London NHS hospital trusts, the Homerton, and Newham University Hospitals Trusts. This version, release 0, contains the patient administration service functionality, is compliant with Choose and Book, and has the ability to order pathology tests and radiological diagnoses, and receive the reports. Subsequent releases will include ever greater functionality, particularly clinical functionality, bringing increasing benefits to patients and those who treat them.
Current users of the Homerton and Newham systems, who have had two years to become familiar with the system and to make local improvements, have expressed their satisfaction with the system. Further positive feedback has been received from a number of users, especially nurses.
Though the current Millennium release version has less functionality than that of certain advanced alternative systems in some trusts, this limitation is a necessary step in building up a fully integrated secondary care system through subsequent releases. Meanwhile, NHS Connecting for Health and SHAs are working closely with the LSPs and Cerner to further develop and improve the product, its functionality, and its ease of use.