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NHSE cancels digital pathways framework for modern general practice

NHSE cancels digital pathways framework for modern general practice

NHS England will no longer publish a digital pathways framework, providing approved ‘modern general practice’ tools.

The framework was going to help ICBs, PCNs and practices deliver the modern general practice access plan, providing a list of approved tools that would be available to practices for functions including booking, messaging and online consultations.

It was set to launch in February but was later delayed until at least June due to ongoing legal action from one prospective provider.

One ICB digital transformation clinical lead in Cheshire and Merseyside ICB, Dr Tom Micklewright, previously called it a ‘free shopping catalogue’ for primary care.

According to HSJ, NHS England told prospective providers that the procurement process for the framework was ending because it wouldn’t have sufficient time to complete it this year due to the lawsuit and general election.

An NHS England spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare Leader that the framework would no longer be published and that ICBs will be expected to support PCNs and practices with navigating the digital market.

They said: ‘Thanks to the NHS’s plan for recovering access to primary care, more GP surgeries have the latest tech to make access easier for patients.

‘Although a framework is not now how we are taking this work forward, practices can still secure the higher quality digital solutions they need with the help of ICBs, using the additional investment provided by the plan.’

Around £240m was ‘retargeted’ to help the transition for PCNs and practices to the modern general practice access model which was set out in the recovery plan.

This money was expected to cover a four-year period between January 2024 and 2028, with £48m available for ICBs in 2024/25.

The model comprises a move to digital telephony, making online requests simpler, offering faster navigation, assessment and responses for patients. It was intended to address the ‘8am rush’ in GP practices.

ICBs will continue to enable PCNs and practices to use in-year funding through the primary care access recovery plan.

Healthcare Leader understands that further options of suppliers of digital pathways products will be confirmed by NHS England in due course.

A version of this story was first published by Pulse’s sister title Healthcare Leader



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

David Church 7 June, 2024 10:24 pm

yet again, still, the only way to reduce the 8 am rush is to relax the gimmick target for same-day appointments that prevents Receptionists from booking a next-day appointment for 9am when a patient phones at half past 4 in the afternoon! This is why practices tell patients to phone back tomorrow at 8 am. This target does nothing good for patients nor GPs and staff. It is just a vote-bait gimmick for gullible electors, and ahould be scrapped, returning GPs to being able to provide services in the best way they feel is possible – instead of in line with today’s political fad.