NHS launches £10m framework to support web-based GP IT systems

Eight suppliers picked for new procurement vehicle that aims to deliver cloud platforms that can accessed through any device


Credit: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

The NHS has unveiled a new multimillion-pound framework for GP surgeries to help support the creation and delivery of web-based patient-record systems.

The aim of the Tech Innovation Framework is to support the development and provision of public cloud-based general practice IT systems that can be accessed through a web browser on any device.

The buying vehicle will be supported by a new set of technical standards covering the provision of six key functions for general practices: processing patient information; managing appointments; recording consultations; prescriptions; referrals for secondary care; and management of resources.

Eight suppliers have been awarded a place on the framework: EMIS Health; Eva Health Technologies; The Flame Lily Healthcare; MedicalDirector; JWPM; Medicus Health; Ouris Health; and OX.DH.

Over the next 18 months, these firms will work with the NHS to “develop new GP clinical systems in line” with the standards and required functionality.

To support this development process, the NHS is looking to put together a network of early adopters to test and provide feedback on new systems. In return, these organisations – including integrated care boards and primary care networks, as well as individual surgeries and other care providers – will be provided with funding and technical support to help them switch to a cloud-based platform.

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The Tech Innovation Framework forms part of the Digital Care Services Catalogue, where it sits alongside a dedicated remote consultation deal, as well as GP IT Futures: the core £450m framework for the provision of primary-care IT systems.

The new agreement was launched “following extensive research… [that] found that a number of general practice users feel that some of the technology [available] has not evolved to meet their needs”. 

The contract notice indicates that the deal will last for up to four years, and is expected to be worth £9.5m to the eight suppliers.

Helen Clifton, executive director for product delivery at NHS Digital, said: “We are putting patients at the heart of everything we do by ensuring primary care benefits from the very latest technology that gives GPs access to innovative digital products which make their jobs easier and enhances the care they provide. We want to ensure that system suppliers produce safe, easy to use systems that enhance the user experience, are built to adapt at pace and meet accessibility standards.”

The market for general practice IT systems has long been dominated by two products: EMIS Web; and SystmOne from TPP.

Until 2019, surgeries’ choice of core clinical records platforms was effectively limited to four suppliers, with minority-share players Microtest and INPS joining EMIS and TPP on the GP Systems of Choice framework.  

The IT Futures deal – which features 69 suppliers in total, including three additional providers of core records systems – was intended to provide practices with greater choice and flexibility.


Sam Trendall

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