Oxford

Oxfordshire patient IT system postponed for second time

The introduction of a new £15.7m IT records system for Oxfordshire patients has been postponed for a second time.

It was supposed to have been launched this weekend after last weekend's launch was put on hold.

On Tuesday the county's NHS trust warned of possible administrative delays with the "major" new programme.

It said the decision to delay for a second time had been taken because some of the preparatory work had taken longer than expected to complete.

'Patient benefits'

The trust said introduction dates were "not set in stone" and it was important to wait for a time that was suitable for patients, staff, and the organisation.

Sir Jonathan Michael, head of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said the Electronic Patient Record would bring benefits to patients and staff.

But he also warned of delays during the first two weeks after its launch.

The database contains patients' records including medical history, appointments and details of past operations.

The system will be introduced at the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Horton hospitals, but a new date has not yet been set. The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre has already been updated.

In the south of England nine trusts are using the system.

It costs £158,000 a month for the service charge until the end of the contract in October 2015.

The service charge and a one-off £15.7m payment will be met centrally by the Department of Health.

In September the government announced it was scrapping the board running an £11bn IT project for the NHS, allowing hospitals to choose their own computer systems.

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