Christine Connelly, the new(ish) CIO for Health gave her first public appearance at HC2009 this morning. Hotly anticipated to make a big announcement, she didn’t disappoint. Unveiling the government’s strategy for delivering the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) in the south of England following Fujitsu’s withdrawal, Connelly announced the opening up of the market with plans for 30 acute sites are to run competitions based on the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity(ASCC) – a framework agreement set up in 2007. The process is expected to last nine months, with contracts awarded for four years (making them coterminous with the existing BT/CSC contracts). This is very welcome news to members who successfully bid for a place on the catalogue but began wondering whether it was ever going to deliver any real business.
Other encouraging news came in the guise of plans to introduce new toolkits by March 2010 that will give trusts more control over local configuration of systems. Cerner and Lorenzo will create the foundations upon which trusts can innovate, in much the same way that new Facebook and iPhone applications are based on standard technology. The message was clear – “programmes of development will not be centrally dictated” – but technical standards and data standards are sure to pose some tricky questions.
Last but not least, Connelly is meeting David Behan, the Director General of Social Care at the Department of Health next week. Behan was a welcome guest at Intellect earlier this month and news that he is in discussions with Connelly about the true potential for integrating health and social care services is heartening. They will be looking at how far integration has come and how new benefits for patients can be created across all care settings, setting out the major milestones for the next 12 months.
So, despite some rather gloomy weather up here there is certainly quite a buzz. More soon.