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National Screening Solution delayed

Wednesday, 21 August 2019  
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 Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


The roll-out of the National Screening Solution has been delayed to early 2020.


Whanganui and Mid-Central District Health Boards were due to go live with the National Bowel Screening Programme using the new NSS this October and November, but will now go live with the interim IT solution, BSP+.


The Ministry of Health signed with Deloitte in January 2019 for the build and operation of the NSS on Salesforce technology and the system was due to be operational by October this year.


National Bowel Screening director Stephanie Chapman says that “since signing the agreement Deloitte and Ministry have mobilised the project team, established the technology environments required to support the build of the NSS and started to build the IT system”.


“The build is well under way but the rate the team can develop the individual system elements is taking longer than planned.”


Chapman says the Ministry is working with Deloitte towards a revised completion date and the solution is now expected to be operational and supporting screening in early 2020. 


An independent assurance review for the NBSP released in July 2018 said the large scale complex NSS project presented a risk to the screening programme, warning that the build and roll-out may not be achieved within the tight timeframes or within budget.


Chapman says the Ministry remains on track to complete the implementation of the NBSP by 30 June 2021. 

Board papers from MidCentral DHB say a number of changes have been made to the interim IT solution and an independent review has confirmed that it is clinically and operationally safe to support additional DHBs.


“MidCentral DHB has asked the National Screening Unit for further clarification on the risks of the change and how these would be managed, the potential complications, costs when MidCentral DHB migrates in the future and how additional costs will be met,” the papers say.


Chapman says the Ministry has undertaken a clinical and stability assessment of the enhanced IT system and is satisfied it can accommodate two more DHBs.


Transitioning from the interim IT system to the NSS is not anticipated to create additional costs for DHBs.


“Importantly, using the interim IT solution will enable the NBSP to continue rolling out, ensuring an increasing number of New Zealanders will benefit from bowel screening without delay,” she says.


Once operational, the new National Screening Solution will also support the delivery of the National Cervical Screening Programme.


A statement from the National Screening Unit in May 2018 said the transition to full human papillomavirus (HPV) primary screening was being extended to allow time to develop a more robust IT system to underpin the programme.


“For HPV primary screening to be safely introduced, the clinical pathways must be supported by a fit-for-purpose IT solution. Simply adapting the current IT system is not a viable option,” NSU clinical director Jane O’Hallahan said.


“It makes sense to take the time to develop a common shared IT solution that enables the nationwide delivery of all our screening programmes.”

Chapman tells that the timing of the delivery of the NSS is not expected to have any impact on the implementation of the primary HPV testing in the NCSP.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read related news:

National Screening Solution delays a "risk"

Deloitte to build NSS on Salesforce tech

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