“Choose and Book upgrade successfully implemented at NHS Connecting for Health”

London, 7 September 2006

Atos Origin, a leading IT services company, has today confirmed the successful implementation of the latest upgrade to the Choose and Book system, part of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) being delivered by NHS Connecting for Health. The roll-out of the new functions was completed on schedule on 25 June 2006.

Atos Origin delivered the national Choose and Book application on time and to budget on 2 July 2004, and has since successfully delivered two major upgrades and twenty minor releases. The latest upgrade reflects the continued collaboration between Atos Origin, Cerner and NHS Connecting for Health to improve the usability and functionality of the application, based on user feedback and developing policy requirements.

The most recent major upgrade (implemented on 30 April 2006) incorporates the following important new features:

  • Support for the Department of Health's Extended Choice framework delivered at the end of April 2006 to coincide with a new policy initiative.
  • The ability to redirect referrals to the most appropriate consultant without needing to start afresh.
  • Facilities that will allow referring clinicians to make a note of any special appointment needs, such as an interpreter.
  • Enhanced usability, reducing keystrokes/clicks in booking workflows; changing the structure of some screens to display more data without having to scroll down; displaying nearest clinics according to distance from the postcode entered.

Following extensive analysis of the scope and requirements of the system, the upgrade was developed and tested with end-users in mind. In addition, the new version went through rigorous integration testing with other National Programme for IT systems prior to release into the live environment.

“Atos Origin and NHS Connecting for Health worked closely to ensure the seamless integration of the update and continue to work in partnership to make the Choose and Book system as intuitive, fast and easy to use as possible,” said Dave Atherton, Head of Health, UK, Atos Origin. “The recent upgrade demonstrates how Choose and Book is constantly evolving and maturing in response to user's needs, becoming an appealing and flexible tool for GPs and consultants.”

“Initial feedback from users has shown that this has already had significant benefits and has boosted ease-of-use,” according to Tom Denwood, Choose and Book Programme Head, NHS Connecting for Health. “We collaborated closely with Atos Origin to ensure that the policy and user requirements were delivered in the upgrade release, which is absolutely paramount, and supported NHS Connecting for Health's overall vision for the National Programme.”

Atos Origin delivered the national Choose and Book system with software provided by Cerner. David Sides, Managing Director, Cerner in the UK, said: "We look forward to continuing to deliver with our partners Atos Origin and NHS Connecting for Health, focusing on increasing user roll out to help more patients take control of their health and treatment by exercising choice".

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are EUR 5.5 billion and it employs over 47,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Euronext Market Solutions, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

About Cerner
Cerner Corp. is taking the paper record out of healthcare, eliminating error, variance and waste in the care process. With more than 7,000 associates worldwide, including 860 clinicians and 2,100 in-house consultants, Cerner has deployed nearly 5,150 solutions to more than 1,500 clients across the globe. This makes Cerner the leading supplier of healthcare information technology. Cerner has been operating in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years and has dedicated service, sales, deployment and development in the country, with more than 450 associates located in the UK. In addition to being selected by Atos Origin as the subcontractor for the Choose and Book project Cerner was selected in 2005 by prime contractor Fujitsu to replace IDX as the main software supplier for the NHS in the Southern cluster.

About NHS Connecting for Health
NHS Connecting for Health is an agency of the Department of Health. Its primary role is to deliver new, integrated IT systems and services to help modernise the NHS and ensure care is centred around the patient.

For further information, contact:

MS&L for Atos Origin
Sam Routley / Anna Mitchell
Tel: +44 20 7878 3000
sam.routley@mslpr.co.uk / anna.mitchell@mslpr.co.uk
Atos Origin
Marie-tatiana Collombert
Tel: +33 1 55 91 26 33
marie-tatiana.collombert@atosorigin.com

NHS Connecting for Health
Katherine Guerin/Sean Edmunds
Tel: + 44 113 280 5816
pressoffice@cfh.nhs.uk