back to article Spaghetti Junction! Brum hospitals on hunt for new ERP and finance supplier to untangle current systems

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust in the UK is desperately seeking to replace a mishmash of finance and warehouse management software with an integrated ERP system in a tender worth up to £6m. The £1.5bn Trust has grown after several mergers with NHS organisations and now runs Birmingham Heartlands Hospital …

  1. Dr Who

    Sounds promising

    An NHS organisation with a large pot of cash to spend and which "... provided very little details on its requirement for the new software or of the potential challenges that lay ahead". What, as they say in the trade, could possibly go wrong?

    1. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: Sounds promising

      As long as they remember that the initial pot of cash, like a colostomy bag, will need to be replaced periodically and, like a colostomy bag, the end product will not smell nearly as sweet as they hope.

  2. JulieM Silver badge

    The £6M Question

    Why are they not using the existing resources of the university to develop a solution, based on mostly-already-existing Open Source software, that can be shared as Open Source with the rest of the NHS?

    1. The Frog People Believe

      Re: The £6M Question

      Are you serious?

      Have you seen the quality of the IT teams in hospitals and universities. Have you seen the software that they produce? I can only believe that you are from this sphere if you feel a massive ERP system is best built from scratch by bunch of public sector IT workers and university teams.

      Beggars belief.

    2. frustin

      Re: The £6M Question

      No way. You dont design a product like ERP when there's a lot of products you can buy that already have the functionality.

    3. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: The £6M Question

      based on mostly-already-existing Open Source

      Which OSS solutions did you have in mid here that meet the requirement...?

      1. SecretSonOfHG

        Re: The £6M Question

        "Which OSS solutions did you have in mid here that meet the requirement...?"

        Absolutely none. Which is also true of non-OSS solutions, there are none that meet these requirements and in any case a long and painful "setup" stage will be required where all the current interfacing will have to be rebuilt around the new system (unless you want a big bang approach that is a sure recipe for disaster)

        Better yet, for that amount of money you could throw a million to three small teams and let them create a 0.1 version, then give the rest of the money to the winner.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 Million

    it will cost more than that once someone gets their hands on the contract.

  4. HarryCoh

    Integrating several different organisations, replacing multiple existing ERP systems and migrating to a new, centralised one with no requirements defined, to be delivered in 1 year? Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Thank goodness its not my money they are wasting, but wait a moment...

  5. Guy 2

    You have no idea...

    I worked for a small gov agency, our finance was done by a bigger related, agency. They, in their infinite wisdom, decided to upgrade, the hardware, the operating system version, the database version and the application for their finance division in one hit over a weekend. A consultant vaguely attached to the project told me he was taking some time off and going far, far away whilst it happened. Needless to say it didn’t go well. I’ll admit it was the late 90s but even so I was horrified. We ended up running dept finances on separate spreadsheets, with a master spreadsheet pulling everything together for finance so that they had some sort of accurate picture for our parent ministry, for a year! The team I was in got lauded for coming up with a fix for ourselves, the other team…well government! Unless you’ve worked there you have no idea

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it not save time just to give twice the expected cost to the usual outsourcing companies and kill a few patients. That'll be the end result anyway.

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