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GPs given £30m for IT upgrades

The Department of Health is giving an extra £30 million to PCTs for maintaining GP computer systems and ensuring they can cope with the new contract.

The cash covers replacements of old systems that cannot cope with the quality framework and minor maintenance and upgrades to compatible computers.

The announcement came after most strategic health

authorities put in bids for extra maintenance cash on behalf

of PCTs. Ministers originally only allocated £20 million for the work and asked trusts to bid for more.

Around £24 million of the new money is expected to

go towards maintenance

costs, backdated from April last year.

GPs will get a letter from health minister John Hutton this week detailing how much their PCT has been given.

The remaining £6 million will pay for new systems in around 400 practices that have old systems or are not computerised.

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