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Why I am urging my GP husband to throw in towel

The Government's £6 billion National Programme for IT has so far had only a tiny effect on GPs' lives. But it is becoming ever clearer just how disruptive it could be for practices.

A recent policy document reveals plans to develop two new GP systems from scratch to replace those currently used by practices.

Although under the new contract practices must be given a choice of system, the options offered by PCOs – which will be under intense pressure to toe the line – are likely to be between a system you probably don't want and the untried newcomer. They are also almost certain to exclude EMIS, the most popular system.

The upshot for most GPs will be that if they want to retain their system of choice they will have to pay for it. The chink of light is the National Audit Office's investigation into the programme. GPs' must make their views known now to stop these arrogant railroading tactics and ruin plans that will cause massive, unnecessary disruption.

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