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In brief … 10 April 2015

10/04/15

Medicines agency makes e-format mandatory

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHPRA) has announced that market authorisation applications for decentralised procedures will have to be submitted in electronic common technical document (eCTD) format from 1 July.Any applications that do not conform will be rejected.

MHPRA signageUnder the decentralised procedures, some medicines can be submitted for marketing authorisation in different EU countries simultaneously. Others, depending on their purpose and how they are constituted, have to go through a centralised procedure under the European Medicines Agency.

The move to make the eCTD format compulsory has been made in line with an EU roadmap that has been developed in a consultation between the pharmaceutical industry, trade bodies and other national competent authorities.

The MHRPA said that about 90% of applications under decentralised procedures are already submitted in eCTD format. It is an interface for the transfer of regulatory information between the pharmaceutical industry and relevant agencies.

Coventry saves £4 million with Unit4 ERP

Applications provider Unit4 has won an award for helping Coventry City Council save almost £4 million on its finance and procurement processes in less than two years with its enterprise resource planning system.

The company was given the Government/Utilities solution of the year in the European IUT & Software Excellence Awards 2015, in which winners had to demonstrate an understanding of the customer's requirements and the ability to deliver the project on time and to hit customer targets.

The solution was used to streamline back office processes as part of the council's Money Matters programme, provided a return on investment in 154 days, and removed the need for external consultants to manage the finance systems.

The Scottish Government has provided £180,000, to be divided among the country's health boards, to support their use of the Patient Opinion website. Health Secretary Shona Robinson said it will support the development of the website and improve feedback from patients.

Patient Opinion is an independent social enterprise that enables patients to share experiences of health services. Health organisations can respond and use the feedback to improve services. There are plans for the development of its accessibility and use in education over the next two years.

Robinson said: "The website is a valuable resource which has allowed health boards to take direct action in response to patients' experiences."

The money will be available until at least 2017.

Mobile plan for Buckinghamshire nurses

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is providing a mobile solution to give its 400 community nurses the ability to visit more patients every week. The trust is integrating its RiO patient record system with Vodafone's mobility platform, which includes its TotalMobile working solution, to enable nurses to access and update patient records from mobile devices.

The new system is being funded by a grant from the Nursing Technology Fund.

"As well as allowing us to create a more sustainable, paper-free system, this technology is supporting a closer working relationship between our teams in the community and those working at our hospitals," said Carolyn Morrice, chief nurse and director of patient care standards for the trust.

HP-Microsoft effort aims at public sector

HP and Microsoft have launched an initiative aimed at helping public sector customers quickly develop new products that work through mobile, web and social channels.

The companies have said the next stage of their long standing strategic partnership involves making HP business-process-as-a-service (BPaaS) solutions for Microsoft Dynamics - its customer relationship management system - available for tailored solutions. They are building a portfolio of business process accelerators for services including social benefits administration, citizen portals and call centres.

The BPaaS solutions are optimised to run on the HP Helion managed virtual private cloud platform, which the company said can speed up deployment.

Anthone Withers, director and general manager of Microsoft Business Applications, Enterprise Services, said: "Our BPaaS solutions allow clients to rapidly move to the digital world by modernising existing applications and simplifying the process to deliver a better client experience."
The move is part of a wider initiative that also takes in the financial services and automotive industries.

Basware acquires Procserve

Basware is bringing together its e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solutions with a public sector e-procurement capability through its acquisition, announced this week, of Procserve.

The latter has an e-procurement network of more than 33,000 organisations to which Basware said it will bring scalability and the experience of working alongside overseas governments. It said the deal will help it take advantage of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which it expects to pave the way for more e-invoicing and e-procurement in the public sector.

Nigel Clifford, Procserve's chief executive officer, said: "With annual expenditure of almost three quarters of a trillion pounds, the public sector is a key driver of the wider UK economy. Simplifying payment processes with e-procurement and e-invoicing will not only free up vital funds for public services, it will also improve financial transparency in government bodies at a time when taxpayers are demanding more accountability."

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