NHS 24 to deploy new IT system "when it is safe to do so"
Patient contact and triage management system reported to have been delayed
Scottish online and out-of-hours phone service NHS 24 has said it will deploy a new IT system when it is safe to do so.
It follows reports that development and deployment of the patient call management system has been delayed.
In a statement, NHS 24 chief executive John Turner said: "NHS 24's guiding principle is the delivery of safe and high quality care for patients. We currently receive 1.5 million calls each year, which are managed safely and effectively by our skilled and dedicated staff, supported by our technology system.
"In recent years, NHS 24 has been developing a programme to update our technology systems for the future. This will enable us to continue to provide safe and effective services to patients, to enhance the way NHS 24 works by delivering a more streamlined service for patients and staff, and to expand services in the years ahead.
"The new system is being built by BT and Capgemini, and our intention is to continue to develop the system with our suppliers and to deploy it when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the current systems continue to work effectively in supporting the delivery of our services across Scotland, and people should not hesitate to contact the NHS 24 service if they need to."
NHS 24 awarded a multi-million pound ten-year contract for the replacement and support of its core frontline IT systems to a consortium led by Capgemini in April 2012. Capgemini is the prime contractor and systems integrator for the consortium, with responsibility for the implementation and ongoing support of the new systems at NHS 24.
The scope of the contract covers patient contact and patient relationship management, clinical decision support tools to assist with the triage1 process, and knowledge management. The new applications will also interface to external systems including the national patient database and local service information.
The new technology is designed to help NHS 24 meet its strategic goals, which including enhancing unscheduled care through an integrated patient management solution and the NHS 24 website, as well as making improved decision support tools available to the frontline staff, and improving access to NHS services by answering and responding appropriately to calls more quickly.