GPs forced to start quality 'on paper'
At least 20 practices will start work on the quality framework 'on paper' because their outdated computer systems will not have been upgraded in time, an LMC is warning.
Avon LMC is reporting two primary care trusts to the GPC after the Department of Health announced PCTs must replace GPs' 'legacy' computer systems which are not compliant with the new contract and meet the cost from their existing budgets.
Some 450 UK practices have non-compliant systems.
Avon LMC chief executive Steve Mercer said Bristol North and Bristol South and West PCTs had said at a meeting earlier this month they could not afford upgrades, which cost at least £40,000 per practice, without Government help.
The two trusts, which are heavily overspent, told Pulse last week they would pay for the new systems.
But Mr Mercer said even if the PCTs found the cash the work could not be done by April 1.
'No one is saying they are declining to fund replacement,' he said. 'But it won't be by April. It's not satisfactory and they know I have no option but to report them. Practices will have to do a lot of [the quality framework] on paper,' he said.
A spokeswoman for the two PCTs said they were doing 'as much as they can' to provide and pay for the systems this financial year. 'We are going through an official procurement process and expect to be able to sign contracts in February,' she said.
Dr Paul Cundy, chair of the GPC's IT sub-committee, said it would be 'virtually impossible' to do the quality and outcomes framework on paper.