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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPC attacks 'cynical' EMIS

The National Programme for IT and EMIS remain at loggerheads despite NPfIT's attempts to quell GPs' unease over the choice issue.

The National Programme issued updated guidance for existing GP IT systems suppliers, expanding a section on the choice of systems. It also sent a letter to the EMIS National Users Group admitting earlier guidance 'unwittingly caused confusion', adding no GP should be forced to change system.

A source close to senior managers at the NPfIT added: 'We are planning some quite serious and in-depth dialogue with primary care around many issues in the NPfIT.'

But the EMIS user group said the guidance failed to persuade it that choice would definitely be available, and the company dismissed the guidance as 'just a sop'.

The NPfIT revised guidance said local service pro-viders would provide a choice ­ a main and alternative

system.

This meant practices in the North East, Eastern, North West and West Midlands will be offered Lorenzo (being developed by iSOFT) and an alternative, while those in London and Southern regions will be offered Carecast (being developed by IDX) and an alternative.

In addition to that choice for new systems, practices would be able to 'continue to use their existing GP clinical systems, subject to such

systems maintaining NHS Care Records Service compliant status'.

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