NHS evaluates 70 bidders for GP IT framework

Written by Sam Trendall on 16 August 2019 in News

Incoming £500m deal aims to break duopoly of EMIS and TPP

Credit: PA

The incoming £500m deal designed to open up the market for GPs’ IT systems has received 73 bids, NHS Digital has announced.

The general practice landscape is currently dominated by two platforms: the EMIS Web product; and the SystmOne software from TPP.

The two products sit on the incumbent GP Systems of Choice framework alongside lesser-used clinical systems from Microtest and INPS.

The GP IT Futures framework, which is due to launch later this year, is designed to disrupt a market whose lack of diversity “slows down innovation and traps GP practices in long-term contracts with systems that are not suited to the digital age”, according to the government.

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To secure a spot on the framework, bidders must adhere to open interoperability standards and their products must be “continuously upgradeable”. 

The deal is intended to make it easier for GPs to move towards cloud environments. It also aims to enable them, should they so wish, to construct an IT environment from individual specialist technologies, rather than buying one monolithic system.

NHS Digital indicated that the products of the companies that have bid “will now go through a rigorous assessment and assurance process”. 

Martin Warden, director for the Digital Transformation in General Practice programme at NHS Digital, said: “We are delighted that so many suppliers have submitted their applications to tender to be on the new GP IT Futures framework. It is great to have so many companies who share in our vision to provide GPs with the best possible tools and services, at the highest possible standards.”  

The outgoing GP Systems of Choice vehicle reached the end of its scheduled four-year term at the end of 2018. The four suppliers have agreed to fulfil a “continuity period” while the new engagement is readied.

Dr Masood Nazir, chief clinical information officer for primary care digital transformation at NHSX, said: "The GP IT Futures framework has been designed to ensure that GP colleagues and practices will be able to choose from modern, assured and well-designed products that reflect what is needed for general practice for now and for the future. These solutions will help to reduce burden in delivering patient care."


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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