This site is intended for health professionals only

GPs may be handed cash to buy their own IT system

Central funding for purchasing GP IT systems could be terminated, with funding provided to practices through the per patient capitation payment instead, a major NHS IT report has said.

The current GP Systems of Choice scheme – where practices choose an IT system from an approved list of suppliers – expires in April 2018, and NHS England and the Department of Health will evaluate whether practices should instead be given money to purchase their own system.

The proposal, which forms part of the NHS vision for a ‘21st century’ IT system, would still require practices to purchase systems that meet minimum standards for record sharing and security.

The report states: ‘The GPSoC contract for the central purchasing of GP systems and associated technology ends in April 2018, and NHS England and DH will consider carefully whether it is appropriate that it continues as a national contract or whether funding for GP systems should be incorporated into the capitation payments made to primary care providers, who will then be free to purchase systems from any supplier, subject to meeting national data and technology standards.’

The report, released this week and developed by NHS England, the DH, CQC, Monitor and research organisations among others, sets out plans to give patients the opportunity to access all their medical records through NHS Choices, adding comments to their GP medical records and expanding by 2018.