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Market consultation on children’s hospital ICT infrastructure admits to ‘uncertainty’

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) has admitted in a recent market consultation that it is difficult to provide information on the timelines for the construction of the new National Children’s Hospital (NCH) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The market consultation, or request for information (RFI), was for ICT infrastructure for the hospital, which is due to open in 2023.

“Construction of the new hospital is progressing; however, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted and continues to impact construction progress,” according to the market consultation document.

“Given the uncertainty arising, it is currently challenging to estimate when relevant milestones will be reached.”

A procurement process for an electronic healthcare record (EHR) system is underway, according to the document.

“The finalised scope for this delivery will have a significant influence on the quantum and makeup of certain aspects of the scope of the procurement to follow from this RFI.

Ideally, EHR is provided as software as service to CHI; however, it is possible that EHR could be hosted on the same infrastructure as the infrastructure for the rest of the hospital. For the purposes of this RFI it is assumed EHR will be SaaS-based.”

A procurement strategy has been developed by the ICT infrastructure programme, which has resulted in bundling up to 65 procurements into “fewer working solutions”.

“Left as is, CHI would run a procurement for each of these and award a single vendor contract for each of these,” according to the document. In the RFI, CHI has asked potential applicants to consider a building programme delay of one-to-two years after the initial contract signing.

“Please give us your views in terms of cost, risk, and technology/solution obsolescence across all of the lots,” according to the document.

CHI has also asked potential applicants to consider “technology obsolescence in the context of lead times the network would face from initial commissioning for the construction and completed commissioning for hospital opening”.

The deadline for submissions for this consultation was 25 November. It is intended that the NCH will be Ireland’s first fully-digital hospital.

It was recently reported that BAM, the main contractor on the project, has submitted more than 600 claims for additional costs, which amount to more than €200 million

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