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GP IT systems set for major overhaul as DHSC launches procurement process

The Government has launched the procurement process for providers of new GP IT systems, marking the first shake-up to the market in over a decade.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the 'GP IT Futures framework' would open up competition to more providers and ensure more systems were available that are suited to 'the digital age'.

The Government said it would introduce 'minimum technical requirements' for systems to be able to 'talk to each other securely' and be 'continuously upgradable'.

Also under the terms of the new panel, providers must hold patient records using 'cloud' technology.

They must also be comply with the DHSC's vision for every patient in England to be able to access their GP via online or video consultation by 2023/24.

The news comes as the Government's framework for GP IT systems has not been subject to a full review since 2007.

Under the current GP Systems of Choice framework practices can choose to use TPP SystmOne, EMIS Web, InPS Vision or Microtest Evolution - although the vast majority of practices use either EMIS Web or SystmOne.

As previously reported by Pulse, practices may be forced to switch systems if their current provider does not meet the new requirements set out by the DHSC.

EMIS announced in November that its new EMIS-X system would move patient records onto the cloud and that Patient Access would begin to facilitate GP video consultations.

NHS Digital chief executive Sarah Wilkinson said this 'next generation of IT services for primary care' would 'give more patients easy access to all key aspects of their medical record and provide the highest quality technology for use by GPs'.

She said: 'In addition, we intend to strengthen quality controls and service standards, and dramatically improve the ease with which GPs can migrate from one supplier to another.

'We are committed to working with existing and new suppliers to deliver these extended capabilities for the benefit of GPs and patients. We’re very excited about the huge opportunities that will arise from improving the sophistication and quality of these services.'

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: 'Too often the IT used by GPs in the NHS – like other NHS technology – is out of date. It frustrates staff and patients alike, and doesn’t work well with other NHS systems. This must change.

'I love the NHS and want to build it to be the most advanced health and care system in the world – so we have to develop a culture of enterprise in the health service to allow the best technology to flourish.

'I want to empower the country’s best minds to develop new solutions to make things better for patients, make things better for staff, and make our NHS the very best it can be.'

Readers' comments (7)

  • This govt is working really hard - they need to find parties who have no experience or are certain to botch the system like the freight people given a 100mln freight contract not having moved one ship across the channel till now. Capita, Carrillon and now IT - squeeze the money out before elections for the wells may run dry. BTW my label printer installed last year is non-functional and the wifi installed last year is only now accessible to staff- but what was that intended for?

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  • Took Early Retirement

    We've been here before. How many billions went down the drain last time?

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  • Headline of this news should read like this= " Major Boost for income for IT professionals" - going to get billion of pounds for useless software which is going to be outdated by the time it rolls out. Meanwhile poor GP should rot with £-££ (aka 8-30 per hour after all deductions. May General practice collapse soon.

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  • Does 'every patient in England able to access their GP online' mean that the company will provide free devices to patients who don;t have them?
    And will they provide training to the dementia patients in how to do it,daily?

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  • 'The vast majority of practices use EMIS or SystmOne'.
    So why are these being phased out in Wales?
    Is it a political conspirac against the best and most popular systems?
    Or just against GPs? again.

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  • Matt Hancock:'Too often the IT used by GPs in the NHS – like other NHS technology – is out of date.'
    Speak for yourself (the NHS)!
    Compared to hospital and BSC systems, GP IT is way ahead! Though some systems are better than others!
    We used to be able to choose software systems, and keep our desktops up to date. Now NWIS has taken over, essentail windows upgrades and matching hardware are terribly delayed.
    And on top of all this, the best, most up-to-date and flexible clinical systems have just been banished from Wales.

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  • Why new stuff?
    In 1997 hospitals in New Zealand used interconnected systems that could talk to each other; universal typed discharge summaries given to patients at discharge; communication with GPs and access to the national patient database.
    That's the OLD system to Kiwis.
    Why can't NHS use an OLD system like this too??

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