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Wide engagement as procurement for encompass supplier continues

2019-04-08
Pictured at a recent information session are Denise Lynd, chair of encompass Digital Business Support Forum (front centre), with Health and Social Care Board staff, Ruth Donaldson, Unscheduled Care and Pat Smyth, Commissioning, back row: Joy Peters and Catriona Rooney, Social Care and Children.

Pictured at a recent information session are Denise Lynd, chair of encompass Digital Business Support Forum (front centre), with Health and Social Care Board staff, Ruth Donaldson, Unscheduled Care and Pat Smyth, Commissioning, back row: Joy Peters and Catriona Rooney, Social Care and Children.

The HSC-wide encompass programme, hosted by the Business Service Organisation, is currently in the process of procuring a supplier who will deliver and implement an electronic health and care record across HSC.

A new digital record for everyone in Northern Ireland, it will replace, modernise and consolidate many fragmented and isolated systems.

It will allow healthcare professionals to access patient information on a range of devices including handhelds such as iPads and mobile phones, wherever they are, safety and securely.

They will also be able to update records in ‘real time’, make notes electronically, prescribe medicines, order tests and communicate with patients and users.

Patients will be able to view their own information and communicate electronically with those who provide their care.

The system is due to go ‘live’ in summer 2021, starting in the South Eastern Trust before rolling out to the remaining Trusts by the end of 2023.

The team has been working to select the right partner to work on this hugely significant programme, while at the same time widening engagement, strengthening the programme team and building collaborative governance structures.

Achievements to date include:
• May 2018 –  approval of the outline business case allowed the programme to launch the procurement process in June

Members of the encompass programme team with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service personnel at an engagement event in Ballymena

Members of the encompass programme team with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service personnel at an engagement event in Ballymena

• July and August – a total of 12 interested suppliers were shortlisted to four; new recruits to the encompass programme team start in post
• September – the team move to temporary accommodation in the Stormont Estate
• October – recruitment and training session for public and patient involvement in the selection of the encompass supplier; first meeting of the Digital Care Forum attracted over 150 staff
• November – over 280 HSC and PPI representatives attended a series of evaluation sessions where four suppliers demonstrated their systems through a variety of scenarios previously developed by HSC staff. As a result, two suppliers were selected and dialogue meetings have been underway since December, with a decision expected on the preferred supplier in May.
• December – the South Eastern Trust is selected as the lead Trust; first meeting of the Digital Business Support is attended by more than 150 staff
• January 2019 – engagement events continue; new encompass staff continue to join the team, bringing the total to 19, working alongside 8 Trust and BSO lead colleagues
• February – engagement events with Northern Ireland Transfusion Service and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
• March –information session for staff from the Health and Social Care Board, Public Health Agency, BSO  and RQAI was held in Portadown

The selection of the right partner to deliver the digital record across HSC will be supported by a full Business Case. Once approved it will allow a contract to be awarded, followed by the design and delivery phase of the programme.

Recruitment and training of more than 200 implementation staff will be required during 2019, with the team due to move into their new Belfast city centre offices later this year.

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