The shake-up of England’s PACS/RIS market is well underway, with trusts in London becoming the latest to start work on plans to exit from the national programme contracts drawn up a decade ago.
The latest research from EHI Intelligence shows that the refresh is taking place in clearly defined waves as the result of the different contract end dates and intervention by the former Department of Health and NHS Supply Chain.
Report author Lindsay Bell said: “When the end of the national contracts first came into view, there was considerable concern that the market would not be able to cope. However, it appears that the refresh is happening in a fairly orderly fashion.”
The National PACS Programme was set up in 2004 to digitise the imaging processes of the two thirds of English trusts that were still using film.
It split the country into clusters and appointed a local service provider for each. The first wave of activity has been triggered by trusts in those areas where CSC was the LSP, since its national contracts expire this June.
The next two waves of activity will occur as trusts in the areas where Accenture and BT were the LSPs decide what to do as their national contracts come to an end.
In London, the PACS programme team is working with trusts to place them into one of three exit phases: early exit (prior to 30 June 2014), exit on expiry, and continuation of service (until 31 July 2015 at the latest).
EHI Intelligence’s latest report builds on a 2012 study of the PACS/RIS market, ‘Seeing is believing’, which predicted that GE Healthcare, the incumbent PACS supplier in the CSC regions, would struggle to maintain its dominant position.
This has been borne out in practice, with a number of new PACS companies securing business. However, HSS has maintained its position as the dominant RIS supplier.
Chris Yeowart, Director of Strategic Business development said: “HSS invested substantially in anticipation of the LSP exit programme, to support the implementation and delivery of service directly to end users. The organisation has doubled in size since 2012 with the appointment of a significant number of new and experienced resources. As a result, HSS has been successful in securing replacement RIS contracts with around 60 trusts in the NWWM and the South and is currently on target to meet the CSC LSP termination date in June.”
Chris is very proud of the committed team at HSS, concluding: “I am not aware of any other delivery programme in the NHS of this magnitude, involving so many trusts facing the same compelling deadline. The team at HSS continue to work around the clock – literally – to enable the continuation of service to all trusts beyond June. After that I expect there will be a short pause for breath before we gear up once again in preparation for the winding up of the remaining LSP contracts.”
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