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Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of Choose and Book (a) Phase 1 release 1, (b) Phase 1 release 2 and (c) Phase 2 release 1 deliveries have been made for the (i) NHS IT National Data Spine and (ii) local services in (A) the North Eastern cluster, (B) London, (C) Eastern and East Midlands, (D) North West and West Midlands and (E) Southern. (195853)

Choose and book is a national service and Release 1.0 was originally delivered on 2 July 2004.

This was against the version of the Spine that was then known as Phase 1 Release 1 (P1R1).

Since this time, there have been a number of functional and patch releases, all to the National Choose and Book Service and all compliant with the National Spine and Patient Demographics Service. The most recent of these was a Release 3.6.3 delivered on 26 January 2008 and this is the current live version for all users, nationally.

The next release, 4.0, is a major release due in April 2008 and this will deliver exciting new functionality such as free choice of secondary-care provided services and the ability for service providers to describe their services using SNOMED clinical terminology.

The clusters A to E have now been superseded by 10 regional strategic health authorities. The original plan was for local service providers in each of these areas to make local General Practitioner and Hospital Patient Administration Systems (PAS) available to integrate with choose and book and the National Spine. The deliveries from each of these are ongoing but all acute trusts in England have services published on choose and book, over 140 of which do so using a compliant PAS system. These are provided in the main by existing systems suppliers that have aligned their systems with the choose and book application and that local acute trusts have chosen to retain.