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PCTs still bullying GPs over IT systems

PCTs are continuing to bully practices to move to preferred local services providers, the GPC has warned.

It said a number of GPs had complained that PCT had coerced them into changing their software provider or had discouraged them from switching supplier.

Pressure was being applied despite the GP Systems of Choice initiative that gives GPs the choice to move to one of eight approved software suppliers.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman warned GPs not to bow to pressure to change.

‘The National Programme for IT has already dealt with areas where this is known to be going on – and it's still going on.'

‘It seems to be happening on an individual practice basis, and only in certain PCTs,' he added.

Dr Gillian Braunold, a GP clinical director with Connecting for Health, said: ‘If a PCT is asking a practice to consider something they don't want, a practice has a right to say: "I want to exercise my rights under GPSOC, please send me the contract."'

But she added that many GPs were happy to go along with PCT strategy, and keeping GPs and community healthcare workers on the same system had proven beneficial in some areas.

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