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Practice IT disruption expected during July

Practices are being warned to prepare for possible disruption to IT services in July as the NHS’s information centre is planning work on the system that runs various parts of patient registration.

The transition will take place on the weekend of 25-28 July, and an update from the Health and Social Care Information Centre states that the weekend transfer will not affect the majority of practices, but weekend users of NHS Spine services should be aware that some services will be unavailable or read-only for parts of the weekend.

The services likely to be affected include Choose and Book, the Electronic Prescription Service, GP2GP and the Summary Care Record, but the latest update states the majority of disruption will be restricted to Saturday night or early on Sunday morning.

The latest update states: ‘The approach to transferring vast volumes of data held by the [NHS] Spine will involve services moving to the new infrastructure in phases over one weekend. This will minimise the downtime in access to Spine services and reduce associated risks.’

It adds: ‘The majority of GP practices will not be impacted by the transition, but weekend users of services such as Choose & Book, the Electronic Prescription Service, GPES, GP2GP and the Summary Care Record application are advised to read the transition document for details.’

The latest information on the transition can be found here, including a detailed explanation of how services will be affected.