The NHS Choose & Book e-referral service is being extended for another year whilst additional work on a replacement takes place.
The contract with Atos who provide the expires this month, but Treasury only recently approved the contract extension and funding for the replacement service with InTechnology. This implies that the current e-booking service will continue whilst development of and transition to the new e-referral service is completed.
The Atos service is built around Cerner Millennium functionality and the contract is worth more than £30 million a year. Choose and Book originally went live in 2004, with usage hitting a high of 57% in March 2009, but has since declined and stalled at around 50%. However, around 90% of GPs use it and booking volumes regularly exceed 30,000 per working day
The Health and Social Care Information Centre state that the new platform will go live sometime in 2014, and that part of Atos’ extended contract is support of the transition to the new service and decommissioning the old service when ready.
A national programme for IT benefits statement produced by the Department of Health and released earlier this year says that the cost of Choose and Book was £280 million by March 2012. Benefits realised at that date totaled more than £820 million.
It is expected that the replacement will cost £111 million between the 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 financial years.
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About Pathway Software
Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.
Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.