NHS Borders IT pilot failure costs £185k

editorial image

NHS Borders is set to spend an extra £185,000 on extending an IT system pilot after failing to implement the pilot across all care providers.

The Scottish Borders health and social care Integrated Joint Board spent £75,000 on evaluating an IT system to match discharged patients from Borders General Hospital and the four community hospitals to appropriate vacancies at 29 residential care homes and to home care placements.

However, the six month pilot - from October 2018 to March 2019 - failed to provide enough data to evaluate the system properly. Now, the IJB is proposing to spend up to £185,000 on extending the pilot for another year.

A report by Rob McCulloch-Graham, IJB’s chief officer for health and social care, said: “Whilst good progress has been made and many clear potential benefits have been identified, the implementation has, however, proved to be more complex and taken longer than originally anticipated.

“For a number of reasons some providers have not been able to go live on the system as early as hoped and, at the end of February, five providers were still not on the system. As a result, it has not been possible to discontinue old processes and move, fully, to the Strata system and the data from a fully implemented system is still to be gathered.”

A report by project manager James Lamb, to go before the IJB later this month, reads: “We underestimated the complexity and timescales of implementing across all providers.

“In February for example, with not all providers live on the Strata system and extreme pressure in the general hospital, the decision was taken to temporarily suspend the use of Strata to manage discharges using the pre-Strata processes.”

The Scottish Borders health and social care IJB is set to meet on Wednesday 8 May to deliberate on the proposals.