Jersey publishes report on EPR programme outlining challenges around engagement and benefits identification

Jersey’s Comptroller and Auditor General, Lynn Pamment CBE, has published a review on the nation’s EPR implementation, highlighting the need for “greater focus on effective stakeholder and user engagement, as well as more effective discipline around the identification, monitoring and delivery of benefits”.

The review centres around the Government of Jersey’s four-year programme to implement an EPR system, at a total estimated cost of £29.3 million between 2021 and 2031. The programme will see the EPR rolled-out in a “series of releases” from 2022-2025.

On capacity and engagement, Pamment’s findings highlighted that “a number of significant IT implementations” running in parallel and requiring additional external resources, had placed “particular pressure” on the government, and that “despite significant attempts made by the EPR programme team, levels of engagement from senior clinicians and managers fell below what was expected and hoped for”.

Looking at the procurement process, Pamment’s review found that the procurement strategy “did not provide a full examination of how the procurement could be packaged to minimise risk to the Government”, as well as that financial information from the 2020 business case did not enable “a transparent audit trail to the funding for the programme”.

In other findings, the review notes that whilst not overly ambitious, the benefits outlined within the business case place a reliance on the Health and Community Services Department “adopting standardised clinical and business processes”. It also points to operational issues arising during the first three go-live dates, citing that whilst a “significant number” of these issues were successfully addressed, there remains concern around the number of issues that did arise, and the length of time taken to resolve them.

Pamment said: “While good practice frameworks have been established for projects such as the EPR implementation, in order to drive value for money from significant investments there needs to be a much greater focus on effective stakeholder and user engagement as well as more effective discipline around the identification, monitoring and delivery of benefits.”

To read the review in full, please click here.

Also on EPRs, we recently heard from chief executive at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Matthew Hopkins, on the digital landscape at his trust in 2023 as well as his hopes and aims for 2024. Along with other topics, Matthew shared with us his insights on implementing a system-wide EPR.

Elsewhere, we looked at NHS England’s recently issued prior information notice for “Tiger Teams” to support EPR delivery, at a cost of £16 million.