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End in sight for IT chaos

The national roll-out of GP2GP is underway, Connecting for Health confirmed this week.

Four out of five practices across England will benefit from the software, which allows practices using the EMIS and INPS systems to electronically send patient records to new surgeries.

Further suppliers are expected to join the rollout in the future. iSoft will be trialled by early adopters by the end of 2007, with TPP likely to be next in line.

The software, which will put an end to waits of up to six weeks for new patient records, has long topped GPs' wish-list from the National Programme for IT.

Dr Paul Robinson, a GP in Scarborough and co-chairman of the Joint GP IT Committee, said: ‘GPs have been calling for this functionality for years.'

‘It is ensuring that GPs have patients' medical histories available in advance of their first consultation and delivering major time savings for administrative staff.'

There have previously been a number of successful trials of GP2GP, and 650 practices already use an older version of the software.

But version 1.1, which was piloted in Croydon PCT earlier this year and will now be deployed more widely, crucially allows patient records to be transferred between different clinical systems.

Dr Gillian Braunold, GP clinical lead with Connecting for Health, said the roll-out would initially be focused in PCTs where some practices were already using the software.

‘The limiting factor is training,' she said. ‘With the software, we could push a button and give it to everyone now. But the most important thing is that everyone is trained.'

Dr Gillian Braunold, GP clini-cal lead with Connecting for Health Dr Gillian Braunold, GP clinical lead with Connecting for Health

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