NHS England Open Source Plans Revealed

Rebecca Todd | E-Health Insider | March 3, 2014

NHS England is looking to create a series of community interest companies to act as custodians for open source products introduced to the NHS. NHS England revealed in mid-2013 that it wanted to encourage an open source option for trusts looking to invest in electronic patient record systems, and that some of the £260m ‘Safer Hospitals Safer Wards: Technology Fund’ would go towards this.

Last week, NHS England head of business systems Richard Jefferson told EHI that ten to 12 trusts are “seriously engaged in looking at a moderate-to-large open source EPR-type solution." Another 15-20 are “tentatively engaged in discussions around their direction of travel” and Jefferson expects an announcement soon on preferred bidder status for an open source provider at one trust.

Trusts taking open source systems will receive services from a custodian that “effectively replaces a proprietary software vendor” by doing things like testing and code control. Trusts will continue to procure implementation and support services...